Nick Wass/Associated Press
The Chicago Cubs and third baseman Kris Bryant reportedly reached an agreement Friday on a one-year, $10.85 million contract that would set a new record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported details of the deal.
Bryant is coming off his third straight monster season for the Cubs. He posted a .295/.409/.537 slash line with 29 home runs and 38 doubles. His .946 OPS set a new career high and ranked 11th among qualified MLB hitters for the 2017 season.
The 26-year-old Las Vegas native already owns an impressive career resume. He was the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the NL’s Most Valuable Player in 2016, the same year he helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908.
He has established himself as a key piece of Chicago’s offensive foundation alongside the likes of Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez.
The University of San Diego product, who can’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, hasn’t made any decisions about his long-term future, though.
“I guess it’s a little early,” Bryant told reporters in late April. “I still feel super-young. I’m still getting used to all of this playing at this level. I’ll listen to whatever they have to say, but I just think that it might be in my best interest to just play it out and see where things go.”
Setting the new first-year arbitration record, which was previously held by the Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard, represents a $9.8 million raise for the infielder from last year.