Cubs avoid arbitration with a trio of players

Oct 17 2017 Chicago IL USA Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant hits a single against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third inning during game three of the 2017 NLCS playoff baseball series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit Dennis Wierzbicki-USA T

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs and shortstop Addison Russell agreed to a one-year, $3.2 million deal, the club announced Friday, avoiding arbitration for Russell in his first year of eligibility. He rebounded from an injury-slowed 2016 to hit.270 last season with 33 homers and 78 RBIs. Howard's first-year arbitration eligible stood for 10 seasons.

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.

Bryant, a native of Las Vegas who played his collegiate ball at San Diego, wound up going No. 2 overall to the Cubs in 2013.

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.

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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. The biggest question heading into 2018 is whether Bryant will continue to bat primarily out of the two hole (411 at-bats last season). He's hit at least.275 in all of his three seasons, surpassing the 25 home run mark in each of the three seasons. The Cubs won the World Series that year for the first time since 1908. He's likely to be one of baseball's hottest commodities within coming years, the Cubs are doing everything they can to keep him in Chicago.

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

As of Friday afternoon, the Cubs still have to reach an agreement with only one other player: Justin Grimm.

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