Bryant signs MLB-record $1.05 second-year-service contract

By Arthur Weinstein 10 March 2017 173
Bryant signs MLB-record $1.05 second-year-service contract

Kris Bryant, who won NL MVP honours last season in leading the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series championship since 1908, just got a raise.

Bryant was among 25 Cubs players with zero-to-three years of major league experience who they agreed to contract terms with on Thursday.

And Bryant's contract will reportedly pay him $1.05 million in 2017, up from $652,000 last year.

While that is an MLB record for a player in his second official year of service - eclipsing the previous mark of $1 million, set by the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout in 2014 - this is not really Bryant's second season.

He won Rookie of the Year honours in 2015, and the 25-year-old third baseman hit .292 with 39 homers and 102 RBIs in 2016.

Yet Bryant's service time numbers are skewed because of the Cubs' controversial but business-savvy move to leave him in the minor leagues for 11 days to start the 2015 season, despite the fact he had been phenomenal in spring training and was widely expected to make the team's roster for the season opener.

That lost service time may continue to haunt Bryant until 2022, when he first becomes eligible for free agency.

This is the modern reality of Major League Baseball, where players are bound to their teams for six years of service time before they can become a free agent, and the clubs control salaries for the first two full years of service time before the players become eligible for arbitration.

Bryant will be arbitration eligible in 2018. And the Cubs will pay a lot more for Bryant's services next year.

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