Bryant, who has received MVP votes all three seasons in the big leagues, hit.295 with 29 homers and a.946 OPS last season for the Cubs - who have advanced to at least the National League Championship Series in each of his seasons. "The records on the field are way more important because when you're doing that, you're helping the team. you get paid millions of dollars to do something you've loved since you were 4 years old". The 27-year-old is eligible for free agency after the 2019 season. Arbitration hearings are set up for next month, though the two sides could reach an agreement before then.
Bryant has been an important piece to the Cubs' puzzle over the last few seasons.
Russell, a Pace High graduate, was an All-Star in 2016 and helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908 that season. He's one of baseball's brightest young stars and overall players.
Russell had an up and down season that was marked with both personal and professional challenges, hitting just.239 with 12 home runs and 43 RBI in 385 plate appearances.
No Cub has ever gone to arbitration with Theo Epstein in charge and it doesn't look like that will change this year.
That left only right-hander Justin Grimm, who was expected to reach an agreement Friday, among the Cubs' arb guys.