SUNDAY: "We'd never use a contract tool to affect a person. They're separate, the business aspect and playing aspect," Astros GM Jeff Luhnow told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
SATURDAY: The MLBPA and George Springer's agent Greg Genske are considering pursuing recourse over the matter of Springer's service time, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports. Genske and the union have not decided what action they will take, if any, but Drellich writes that a grievance appears to be at least a possibility. It is also possible that Springer and the union will take no action.
Springer turned down a seven-year contract from the Astros, and they later sent him to the minors to start the season, perhaps in part because of worries over his service time. If Springer had agreed to the deal, his service time would no longer have been an issue, and the Astros might have been less concerned about having him start the season in the big leagues (although Springer only has 266 plate appearances at Triple-A, so having him start 2014 there isn't necessarily unreasonable, even leaving service time aside).
If Springer were to stick in the big leagues from Opening Day on, he could become eligible for free agency following the 2019 season rather than the 2020 season. Also, the timing of his promotion within the 2014 could affect whether he is eligible for arbitration three times or four, a difference that would likely amount to millions of dollars. Such considerations are routine in the timelines of promotions of top young players, but they do not always sit well with players or fans, since they can prevent worthy players from being in the Major Leagues.