CHICAGO – Third baseman Kris Bryant avoided arbitration with the Chicago Cubs, agreeing Friday to an $18.6 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced. The Cubs also avoided arbitration with their other five eligible players, agreeing to one-year deals with star shortstop Javier BŠez ($10 million), All-Star catcher Willson Contreras ($4.5†million), slugger Kyle Schwarber ($7.01†million), outfielder Albert Almora Jr. ($1,575,000) and reliever Kyle Ryan ($975,000).
Elsewhere, outfielder Mookie Betts agreed to a $27 million contract with Boston, the largest one-year salary for an arbitration-eligible player.
Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer struck a $17.5 million agreement after winning hearings against Cleveland the previous two winters, and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor also agreed to $17.5 million.
NL MVP Cody Bellinger agreed at $11.5 million, the largest amount for a player eligible for arbitration for the first time. New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, also eligible for the first time, received an $8.5 million deal.
Among 155 players eligible for arbitration at the start of the day, just 20 remained headed for hearings next month after exchanging proposed arbitration salaries with teams.
Houston outfielder George Springer asked for a raise from $12.15 million to $22.5 million and was offered $17.5 million in the biggest gap.
Just 10 cases went to hearings last year, and players won six.
He was voted the American League MVP in 2018, when he hit a major league-leading .346 with 32 homers and 80 RBI, then helped the Red Sox to the World Series title. He hit .295 last season with 29 homers and 80 RBI.
Agent Scott Boras and his staff negotiated 19 contracts for arbitration-eligible players totaling $117.75 million, raising the company's offseason total to $1,134,250,000 with a deal still to be reached for free agent outfielder Nick Castellanos. Boras' agreements Friday included Bryant, Bellinger, Yankees pitcher James Paxton ($12.5 million) and Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager ($7.6 million).
Infielder Jedd Gyorko, a former TinCaps player, signed a $2†million, one-year deal with Milwaukee that includes a club option for 2021.
Pittsburgh first baseman Josh Bell's breakout season earned him a hefty pay bump going into 2020. Bell will make $4.8 million this season.
Shortstop Dansby Swanson and right-hander Mike Foltynewicz were among six Atlanta who agreed to one-year contracts Friday and avoided salary arbitration. Swanson agreed at $3.15 million and Foltynewicz at $6,425,000.
Right-hander Noah Syndergaard has agreed to a $9.7 million, one-year deal with the New York Mets to avoid salary arbitration.
Kansas City†and slugging outfielder Jorge Soler agreed to a $7.3 million contract for next season.†