By Bruce Levine–
MESA, Ariz. (CBS) — The Cubs and shortstop Addison Russell agreed on a $644,000 contract for the 2017 season, according to Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports. That figure is $109,000 more than the $535,000 big league minimum salary for players such as Russell who haven’t reached arbitration status yet, so it’s a small reward that the Cubs extended.
The 23-year-old Russell hit .238 with 21 homers, 95 RBIs and a .738 OPS in 2016, when he was named an All-Star for the first time. Russell will be arbitration eligible ahead of the 2018 season, as he’ll have “Super Two” status — meaning he’s in the top 22 percent of service time for players with between two and three years of MLB service.
Teammate and reigning National League MVP Kris Bryant is in a similar position, with “Super Two” status looming next offseason so he can reach early arbitration. In the present, the Cubs and Bryant are still negotiating a 2017 salaryfor him that could approach or surpass the pre-arbitration record of $1 million that Angels star Mike Trout earned in 2014, Heyman reported. Bryant told 670 The Score on Monday that he’s leaving the entire negotiation up to his powerful agent, Scott Boras.
Both Russell and Bryant are represented by Boras, who also represents Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta, who’s set to become a free agent in November. Arrieta will be seeking his market value on a long-term contract that could approach the $200 million range, according to reports.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.