Heyman | Kris Bryant breaks first-year arbitration record

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Wilson is in his third year of arbitration and figures to be a huge part of the 2018 Cubs bullpen. It's only fitting, as Bryant has already won an MVP, and while his power numbers fell off previous year, he had a top-four OBP in the NL.

The Cubs and third baseman Kris Bryant reportedly reached a deal to give Bryant a record $10.85 million as a first-year arbitration-eligible player and avoid an arbitration hearing, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Howard's first-year arbitration eligible stood for 10 seasons. However, the two sides finally came to an agreement and avoided arbitration.

Russell, a Pace High graduate, was an All-Star in 2016 and helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908 that season.

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.

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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". He hit 29 home runs and drove in 73 RBI for the Cubs last season, an impressive follow-up to his MVP award winning 2016 campaign.

Theo Epstein's front office has never gone to arbitration with any player.

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

Bryant and Russell, along with reliever Justin Grimm, will submit their salary requests to an arbitrator on Friday, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers and other reports.