news 5 days ago

Cubs non-tender Addison Russell, ending controversial saga

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

The Cubs are non-tendering second baseman Addison Russell, the team announced Monday, cutting ties with the 25-year-old who served a 40-game suspension in 2019 under MLB's domestic violence policy.

"We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process," Chicago GM Theo Epstein said in a statement.

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Russell was under contract through 2021, but he is now on the market as a free agent.

A 2016 All-Star at 22 years old, Russell's career has been defined by a domestic violence saga that began in June 2017. He was suspended in October 2018, following public allegations of physical abuse from his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, who subsequently spoke to MLB investigators.

MLB suspended Russell for 40 games as a result of the investigation, part of the reason Russell played just 82 games in 2019.

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"In the year since we decided to tender Addison a contract last November, he has lived up to his promise to put in the important self-improvement work necessary off the field," Epstein said. "We have offered our continued support of him and his family, including Melisa."

If Chicago doesn't go outside the organization to replace Russell, David Bote would be likely to step in as the full-time second baseman.