Chicago Cubs player Kris Bryant, who is a former Rookie of the Year as well as National League MVP, was awarded a record settlement for first-time arbitration-eligible players. On Friday, he agreed to a $10.85 one-year deal with the Cubs, said a source with knowledge of the situation.
Prior to Friday’s settlement, the previous record for first-arbitration players was set in 2008 by first baseman Ryan Howard, who was given $10 million from the Phillies.
Bryant told a group of reporters Friday that he does not look at the “me” records.
He added that the records that take place on the field of play are much more important, as you do that yourself with the help of teammates, while helping the team, and you get paid in the millions of dollars for something you have loved to do since you were a young child. Bryant added that he was grateful and honored to be part of the Chicago Cubs.
President of the Cubs Theo Epstein said that he felt Bryant received a fair as well as record award. The Cubs president added that it shows the special kinds of things Bryant has accomplished and the special teams that he has played on.
Bryant, who is 26, is just one of three Major League Baseball players, along with Howard and Buster Posey to win the Rookie of the Year along with the MVP prior to becoming eligible for arbitration.
During this first three big league seasons, Ryan has hit 98 homers to go along with his .288 batting average and on-base percentage of .388. He was ranked No 3 in WAR during 2016 and No. 26 in 2017.
Bryant’s teammates Addison Russell agreed on Friday to terms to play this season and will receive a $3.2 million contract.
Three other Cubs players settled with the team on Friday. All three were also arbitration eligible. Pitchers Justin Wilson agreed to $42.5 billion and Kyle Hendricks to $4.175 million, along with Tommy La Stella, an infielder, who agreed to $950,000.
Last season, Bryant finished with a batting average of .295, 29 home runs, 73 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .409. The Cubs won the NL Central but were eliminated in the NL Championship series by the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.