Cubs avoid arbitration with Bryant, Hendricks, Russell, Wilson and La Stella

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CHICAGO - No Cub has ever gone to arbitration with Theo Epstein in charge and it doesn't look like that will change this year.

Five of the six players eligible for arbitration reportedly agreed to deals with the team Friday with only Justin Grimm on the outside looking in.

Kris Bryant set a record with his one-year contract, worth an estimated $10.85 million - the most ever by a first-year arbitration eligible player.

The previous mark was held by Ryan Howard, who was awarded $10 million by a three-person panel in 2008, the Philadelphia first baseman's first year of eligibility for arbitration. The 26-year-old third baseman receives a hefty raise after making $1.05 million last year.

Bryant hit .295 with 29 home runs and 73 RBIs in 2017. The previous season, he earned National League MVP honors when he hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs.

Shortstop Addison Russell agreed to a $3.2 million deal for 2018.

Kyle Hendricks got a big raise. His salary went from $760,500 last year to a reported $4.125 million this year.

The Cubs also locked up Addison Russell, Justin Wilson and Tommy LaStella for the 2018 season.

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