Kris Bryant gets record $10.85 million deal as first-year arbitration player

Aubrey Yates
January 13, 2018

He's in the first year of arbitration and has a career 2.94 ERA, 1.098 WHIP and finished third in the NL Cy Young voting in 2016.

Bryant could break the record for highest salary among players eligible for arbitration for the first time, a mark set when first baseman Ryan Howard was awarded a raise from $900,000 to $10 million by a three-person panel in 2008 instead of Philadelphia's $7 million offer.

Bryant, the 2016 National League MVP during he Cubs' historic World Series-winning campaign, has 94 home runs in three MLB seasons.

Bryant is coming off his third season in the majors.

Baseball's current collective bargaining agreement provides language that allows clubs a wide lens to analyze a player's contributions, "including but not limited to his overall performance, special qualities of leadership and public appeal".

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Bryant's seen as one of the centerpieces to bring more rings back to Chicago. He more than did his part in leading the Cubs to 103 wins while capturing an NL Central Division title and a World Series ring.

As Jesse Rogers points out, the Cubs have never had an arbitration hearing under the Theo Epstein regime.

There were 189 players eligible for arbitration after teams offered contracts on December 1 to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters, and 173 remained set to swap as of Thursday evening.

The Chicago Cubs agreed to terms Friday with pitchers Kyle Hendricks and Justin Wilson.

The Cubs and reliever Justin Grimm didn't reach an agreement yet and are expected to exchange salary figures soon. However, both sides believe they can reach an agreement before having to go to trial in February.

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