Source: Cubs' Kris Bryant gets $10.85M, most for first-time arbitration-eligible player

Updated: January 12, 2018, 8:44 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- 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.

The previous record was set by Ryan Howard, who received $10 million from the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

"I don't look at 'me' records," Bryant told reporters on Friday. "The records on the field are way more important, because when you're doing that, you're helping the team. ... you get paid millions of dollars to do something you've loved since you were 4 years old. I just feel so grateful and so honored to be with this team.

"I thought he got a fair -- and record -- award," president Theo Epstein said. "It just shows the special things he's been able to accomplish and the special teams he's been on as well."

Bryant, 26, is one of three players, along with Buster Posey and Howard to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP before becoming arbitration eligible.

Bryant has 94 home runs in his first three seasons in the big leagues to go with a .288 batting average and .388 on-base percentage. He ranked third in WAR in 2016 and 16th last season.

Teammate Addison Russell also agreed to terms for 2018, receiving a contract for $3.2 million.

The Cubs settled with three other players on Friday who were arbitration eligible: pitchers Kyle Hendricks ($4.175 million) and Justin Wilson ($4.25 million) along with infielder Tommy La Stella ($950,000).

Pitcher Justin Grimm remains the only unsigned arbitration-eligible player.

Jesse Rogers | email

ESPN Staff Writer
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for and ESPN Radio 1000.



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