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13 January 2018, 05:32 | Pamela Mathis
Kris Bryant of the Cubs is one of several talented third basemen facing arbitration
Bryant's contract edges out the previous record holder - Phillies legend Ryan Howard - by $850,000. Bryant, of course, has earned every penny, winning one National League MVP award and finishing in the top-11 in voting each of his first three years in the majors. During the 2017 season, Bryant hit for a career-best.295 batting average and a total of 29 home runs and 73 RBIs.
On Friday morning, the Cubs officially avoided arbitration with two pitchers just ahead of the noon deadline. It's only fitting, as Bryant has already won an MVP, and while his power numbers fell off a year ago, he had a top-four OBP in the NL.
Bryant has been an important piece to the Cubs' puzzle over the last few seasons.
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The Cubs also avoided arbitration with shortstop Addison Russell, settling at $3.2 million, according to the Sun-Times. The Cubs won the World Series that year for the first time since 1908. Earlier Friday, the Cubs settled with reliever Justin Wilson ($4.25 million), right-hander Kyle Hendricks ($4.125 million) and infielder Tommy La Stella ($950,000).
No Cub has ever gone to arbitration with Theo Epstein in charge and it doesn't look like that will change this year. Reliever Justin Grimm did not reach an agreement with the team.
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