Former Rookie of the Year and MVP Kris Bryant received a record settlement for a first-time arbitration-eligible player on Friday as he agreed to a one-year, $10.85 million deal with the Chicago Cubs, avoiding arbitration, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Bryant's deal surpasses the $10 million deal Ryan Howard made with the Philadelphia Phillies before the 2008 season. Bryant added that he was grateful and honored to be part of the Chicago Cubs. Bryant, of course, has earned every penny, winning one National League MVP award and finishing in the top-11 in voting each of his first three years in the majors. Throughout his three seasons in the league, Bryant has hit.288 with 94 home runs.
Reliever Justin Grimm, pitcher Kyle Hendricks, infielder Tommy La Stella, and shortstop Addison Russell are also eligible for arbitration this season. He ranked third in WAR in 2016 and 16th last season. All three were also arbitration eligible.
Bryant was among the five arbitration-eligible Cubs players who reached agreement with the team before the deadline for unsigned players to exchange salary arbitration figures with the club. The Cubs won the World Series that year for the first time since 1908.
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