Kris Bryant has far exceeded all the hype that was surrounding him before his MLB debut in 2015. He was Rookie of the Year in 2015 and won National League MVP the same season the Chicago Cubs won the World Series a year later. Despite his power numbers coming down a bit in 2017, Bryant improved in more areas during his third season in the Majors. Can’t really get off to a better start of a career than Bryant and the Cubs are certainly rewarding him. Bryant set the record for the highest first-year, arbitration eligible salary in MLB history on Friday.
Bryant, 26, and the Cubs settled on $10.85 million, avoiding arbitration. The Cubs also agreed to a deal with Addison Russell.
#Cubs avoid arbitration with Bryant ($10.85 million) and Russell ($3.2 million). KB's is record for 1st year arb eligible player
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) January 12, 2018
Before the start of the 2017 season, Bryant also set the record for the highest salary of a second-year player in MLB history.
sources: Kris Bryant sets record for 2nd year player, tops Trout, signs for $1.05M. cubs very fair with young players.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 9, 2017
And still, despite making 10x more than last year, what a bargain for the Cubs. We’re talking about a guy who’d easily get at least $27 million a year if he was a free agent.
Earlier in the day, the Cubs also avoided arbitration with three other players, Justin Wilson, Kyle Hendricks and Tommy La Stella.
#Cubs deals today vs. projected salaries from @mlbtraderumors
Justin Wilson: $4.25 million ($4.3 million)
Kyle Hendricks: $4.175 million ($4.9 million)
Tommy La Stella: $950,000 ($1 million)
Bryant, Russell, Grimm left.
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) January 12, 2018
The Cubs have now agreed to deals with five of the six arbitration-eligible players on their roster. Right-handed reliever Justin Grimm has still not settled on a salary with the Cubs.
Cubs did not reach a deal with Justin Grimm by the noon deadline.
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) January 12, 2018