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.
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard set the old record of $10 million in 2008. Howard and Bryant both National League Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in their first two seasons in the majors.
Bryant hit .295 with 29 homers last season for Chicago. The 26-year-old made $1.05 million last year.
He is among five arbitration-eligible players, including Addison Russell, who reportedly reached agreements with the Cubs by Friday, according to the Sun-Times. Right-hander Justin Grimm is the only arbitration-eligible player left who has not signed a deal.
Earlier Friday, the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson reportedly agreed to a $23 million contract for next season to avoid arbitration. The salary is a record for an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing Bryce Harper’s $21.625 million deal for this season.