Sets first-year arb record

Kris Bryant Reaches Record Deal With Cubs Avoids Arbitration Report

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His resume to date includes, in successive years, college player of the year as a junior at Dollars, minor league player of the year his first full season as a pro, NL Rookie of the Year the next season and the NL MVP during the Cubs' championship run in 2016.

Toronto's Josh Donaldson, Baltimore's Manny Machado, Washington's Anthony Rendon and the Chicago Cubs' Kris Bryant were among the more than 170 players headed to the exchange.

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 burst onto the Major League Baseball scene as a rookie in 2015. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs. The following season, he bashed 39 long balls and drove in 102.

While Bryant took a small step back in a few areas in 2017, he actually improved his on-base percentage by cutting down on his strikeouts and walking more than ever before. It was the first time in his three seasons he was not named an All-Star, however. The result was a.409 OBP with a.537 slugging percentage, 38 doubles, 111 runs, 29 home runs, and 73 RBI. After getting by the Washington Nationals in five games en route to the NLCS, the Cubs' season came to an end at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In just three seasons, Bryant has posted 19.7 WAR while appearing in the postseason every year.

Friday's arbitration agreement is likely just the tip of the iceberg for Bryant. They can still continue negotiating moving forward. Nevertheless, Bryant has certainly done enough to earn his record-breaking arbitration number.

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