According to ESPN’s David Kaplan and MLB.com, the Cubs offered Bryant a multi-year deal that would have paid him $200 million. The third baseman and his agent Scott Boras turned the offer down, according to the reports.
Bryant isn’t eligible to become a free agent until after the 2021 season, but the Cubs’ offer represents an attempt by the team to buy out his remaining years of arbitration eligibility and to earn themselves an extra few years of team control after he would have been scheduled to hit free agency.
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According to the reports, Bryant and Boras are inclined to take things year-by-year with the Cubs, going to arbitration if necessary to set his annual salary.
Bryant’s last contract paid him $10.8 million for the 2018 season, a record for a first-year arbitration eligible player.
There are several Cubs players set to hit free agency after that 2021 season, including Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber.