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Cubs, Kris Bryant avoid arbitration

The Cubs third baseman signed for slightly more than projected.

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Friday is the deadline for arbitration-eligible players and teams to sign contracts. If they don’t agree by today, the teams and players exchange figures and likely go to a hearing, as pretty much all teams have gone to a “file-and-trial” system where they won’t negotiate after today’s deadline.

The first Cubs arb-eligible player has signed!

That’s $100,000 more than MLB Trade Rumors projected for Kris Bryant this season. The Cubs are supposedly in “save as much money as possible” mode, but $100,000 likely won’t break the bank.

This signing has little to do with whether KB will be traded or not. That possibility still awaits the decision by an arbitrator on his service-time grievance. We keep hearing that will be “soon,” but we’re now only a month away from spring training workouts beginning. Time would appear to be of the essence.

Five other Cubs are arbitration-eligible and have not yet signed: Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Ryan. I’ll be watching for further reports and will post on these other players when any news breaks.