Kris Bryant and the Cubs narrowly avoid arbitration, but do so in a fashionable way.
The Chicago Cubs and Kris Bryant came down to the wire with arbitration talks on Friday before 1 p.m.’s deadline. However, the two sides finally came to an agreement and avoided arbitration. The Cubs’ superstar third baseman is set to receive a record deal for a first-year arbitration eligible contract with $10.85 million in 2018. Bryant’s contract edges out the previous record holder — Phillies legend Ryan Howard — by $850,000. Howard’s first-year arbitration eligible stood for 10 seasons.
Bryant has been an important piece to the Cubs’ puzzle over the last few seasons. He’s one of baseball’s brightest young stars and overall players. Throughout his three seasons in the league, Bryant has hit .288 with 94 home runs. During the 2017 season, Bryant hit for a career-best .295 batting average and a total of 29 home runs and 73 RBIs.
Bryant’s seen as one of the centerpieces to bring more rings back to Chicago. He played a vital role in winning the Cubs’ first World Series titles in over 100 years back in 2016, including making the final out of the World Series. He’s hit at least .275 in all of his three seasons, surpassing the 25 home run mark in each of the three seasons. He’s likely to be one of baseball’s hottest commodities within coming years, the Cubs are doing everything they can to keep him in Chicago.
In hopes to avoid Theo Epstein’s first arbitration hearing since taking over as President in 2012. The Cubs re-signed a plethora of players before Friday’s deadline. Shortstop Addison Russell ($3.2 million), pitcher Kyle Hendricks ($4.175 million), reliever Justin Wilson ($4.25 million) and infielder Tommy La Stella ($950,000). Reliever Justin Grimm did not reach an agreement with the team. However, both sides believe they can reach an agreement before having to go to trial in February.