Kris Bryant has lost his service-time grievance against the Chicago Cubs, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, keeping him under contract through the 2021 MLB season. With the third baseman unable to hit free agency for another two years, trade rumors involving the star are sure to heat up.

Passan reported earlier in the offseason that Chicago was looking to move one of its best players. Bryant appears to be the most likely candidate because of the value he would have on the trade market. A former MVP under team control for two more seasons, Bryant would cost a suitor a package of several promising young players.

MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal said on “Hot Stove” Wednesday that Bryant’s grievance “basically hijacked the Cubs’ offseason.” Rosenthal expects the Cubs to begin trade talks, and possibly complete a deal in the near future.

Much like the Boston Red Sox and their pursuit of a Mookie Betts trade, Chicago is eyeing a trade to shed payroll. The Cubs haven’t signed a free agent to a major-league contract since the conclusion of the 2019 World Series. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, Chicago is $2.133 million north of the $208 million luxury tax threshold.

Bryant will make $18.6 million for the 2020 season.

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are considered to be possible destinations for Bryant. Both teams have pursued star third basemen in the winter.

Bryant was an All-Star as a rookie in 2015, a year before he won the MVP award and helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series championship in 108 years. The 28-year-old failed to make the All-Star team in 2017 and 2018. He was an All-Star in 2019 with a .903 OPS and 31 home runs in 147 games.

In five MLB seasons, Bryant has hit .284/385/.521. He’s averaged 28 home runs, 81 RBI and 141 games per year.

Kris Bryant Cubs
Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs warms up on deck during an exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds at Cashman Field on March 26, 2017 in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images