ESPN forecasts record-breaking contract for Kris Bryant


by - Senior Editor -
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Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports
Cary Edmondson - USA Today Sports

The Chicago Cubs signed third baseman Kris Bryant to a record-setting pre-arbitration salary of 1.05 million (raise from $652K) before the start of the 2017 baseball season. He is the highest-paid player in the second year of service time in major league history as his deal surpassed the previous record major league record of outfielder Mike Trout's one million back in 2014.

So what will Kris Bryant be worth when he hits free agency after the 2021 season?

ESPN's senior writer Jim Bowden released its latest article projecting free agent salaries for some of the young superstars in the game of baseball including a projection of Kris Bryant breaking the current salary record with a 13-year contract worth $350 million. The $350 million contract would surpass the $325 million truckload that Giancarlo Staton received from the Miami Marlins.

"Bryant has a chance to be the best right-handed power hitter of his generation," Bowden said. "To sign the 2016 NL MVP long term, any offer now would have to surpass the $325 million deal Stanton got from the Marlins for him to even consider it. Expect the Cubs to go year by year with him, at least for the next couple of seasons."

Bowden thinks that the Cubs would love to lock in Bryant early to a long-term contract if possible.

"What would it take for Bryant to say yes to an extension now? It would depend on upon the Cubs' intent," Bowden said. "If they want to just buy out his arbitration years, then as long as that deal breaks records, it can be done, based on the recent track record of the Boras Corp. But if the Cubs wanted to get two of his free-agent years, it would be extremely unlikely Bryant would be willing to give them up this early. The bottom line is that it would either have to be a record-breaking deal that goes well beyond Stanton's or a deal that breaks records for each of his arbitration years."

In 2016, Bryant hit .292 with 39 homers, 102 RBIs, 121 runs, .939 OPS, and an on-base percentage of .385 as he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. In two seasons at the big league level, he has batted .284 with 65 homers, 201 RBIs, and .377 on-base percentage.

He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the first round (2nd overall) in the 2013 MLB Draft.


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