Bryant was seeking an opportunity to enter free agency after the 2020 campaign by proving the Cubs manipulated his service time in 2015. That year, he spent the first two weeks of the season in the minors despite posting big numbers during spring training. The 28-year-old now isn't eligible to become a free agent until 2021, and he's hoping his case helps others.
"I just saw this as a process that is eventually going to help the players in the next round of negotiating and I was going to be that guy to have the courage to do it," Bryant said Saturday, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press. "I know there’s going to be backlash for it and I understand it.
"It was really important to me to stand up for what I believe in, what we as players believe in and that's a good thing. There’s no hard feelings at all."
Bryant, a three-time All-Star, finished 2015 with 171 days of service - he needed 172 to test free agency after next season.
"I saw this as look, I have one chance at my career and I'm trying to put myself in the best possible situation because I’m not getting any younger, I'm only getting older," Bryant said. "Obviously it would have been great to win, but I lost, we move on, and no hard feelings … Maybe a little bit of emotions because it is your career, your livelihood, you want the best - everybody thinks everything should be rosy and we want the best possible situation for yourself - but at the end of it, it was an uphill battle.
"We had a great case, probably the best one ever if you look at 2013, 2014, (and) 2015."
The 2016 National League MVP owns a career .901 OPS with 138 home runs over five seasons with the Cubs.