(CBS) The Major League Baseball Players Association will closely monitor the timeline and process by which the Cubs handle the promotion of prized prospect Kris Bryant, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

To protect the players, the MLBPA doesn’t want teams delaying the service clock of players and thereby setting back their eligibility for free agency by a year. It’s a fairly common practice by MLB teams who want to keep an extra year of club control of elite prospects who aren’t like to sign an extension early in their careers.

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In the case of Bryant, the Cubs are expected to not call him up until several weeks into the season, thus ensuring they’d control him through 2021 instead of 2020.

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“I will tell you this,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark told the Tribune, speaking generally. “I will always pay attention during the course of the year as guys come up, go down, different considerations that may be a part of those decisions – we always pay attention to those things. This year is a little different than in years past here as it’s a remarkably talented group in that locker room. There’s a very good group of veterans, a very good group of young talented players and selfishly I’m interested to see how everything falls into place.

“But as it relates to when someone may come up, when they may not, those are all things we pay very close attention to and as the year goes along, we’ll see where we end up.”

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After the offseason trade of third baseman Luis Valbuena to the Astros, the Cubs don’t have an incumbent or logical, proven option at third base. Most agree Bryant is the best option already after he hit .325 with 43 homers and 110 RBIs in time split between Double-A and Triple-A last season.