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Bryant gets 1-year contract with the Cubs, White Sox sign Abreu

Kris Bryant put up another big number on Friday.

Bryant agreed to a $10.85 million, one-year deal with the Chicago
Cubs, a record for a player eligible for arbitration for the first

''I guess for some players it might be stressful, but I really
enjoyed the whole process of it,'' Bryant said before the start of
the team's annual fan convention. ''You play to get to this point
in your career, and I've put in so much hard work behind the scenes
to get to this point. It just feels so rewarding.''

The previous mark was held by former Philadelphia slugger Ryan
Howard, who was awarded $10 million by a three-person panel in
2008. The Cubs and Bryant avoided arbitration, and the 26-year-old
third baseman receives a hefty raise after making $1.05 million
last year.

''I don't look at money records,'' Bryant said. ''I guess the
records on the field are way more important, because when you're
doing that, you know, you're helping the team. But it really is a
cherry on top when you get paid millions of dollars to do something
that you've loved since you were 4 years old.''

The Cubs also reached one-year deals with right-hander Kyle
Hendricks ($4,175,000), shortstop Addison Russell ($3.2 million)
reliever Justin Wilson ($4.25 million) and infielder Tommy La
Stella ($950,000). The team exchanged figures with reliever Justin
Grimm, but president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he
hopes to strike a deal before an arbitration hearing.

Bryant was selected by Chicago with the No. 2 pick in the 2013
draft, a key moment in the Cubs' ascension from perennial loser to
annual championship contender. He hit .292 with 39 homers and 102
RBIs in 2016, winning the NL MVP award and helping Chicago win the
World Series for the first time since 1908.

The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year batted .295 with 29 home runs and 73
RBIs last year.

''I'm happy for K.B. I thought he got a fair and record award,''
Epstein said, ''which just shows a lot of the special things he's
been able to accomplish and the special teams he's been on as

Epstein said there were no substantive discussions this winter on a
long-term deal for Bryant, who is represented by Scott Boras.

''I'll hear anything that they have to offer,'' Bryant said. ''I'd
be a fool not to.''

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $13 million,
one-year deal with slugger Jose Abreu.

The White Sox avoided arbitration with Abreu and three other
players, also reaching one-year deals Friday with infielder Leury
Garcia ($1,175,000) and left-handers Luis Avilan ($2.45 million)
and Carlos Rodon ($2.3 million).

Abreu has reached the 30-home run mark three times and driven in at
least 100 runs in all four of his major league seasons. The first
baseman hit .304 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs last year.

Avilan was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team
trade last week.


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