The Chicago Cubs are moving on from shortstop Addison Russell.
The team opted to cut bait on Russell, non-tendering the shortstop Monday. The 25-year-old Russell will now hit the free-agent market after hitting .237/.308/.391 in 241 plate appearances last season.
On the field, Russell failed to live up to expectations. A former first-round draft pick, Russell has a career .242/.312/.392 slash line. He’s regarded as a strong defender at short.
Russell’s time with the Cubs won’t be remembered for his on-field failings, however. He received a 40-game suspension from Major League Baseball after his ex-wife accused him of domestic violence. MLB investigated the situation and suspended Russell. He missed the end of the 2018 season and the start of the 2019 season.
The Cubs initially kept Russell in the minors once his suspension ended, but eventually called him back up to the majors in 2019. Some Cubs fans weren’t happy with that decision. Despite that, Cubs president Theo Epstein believed Russell should receive a “conditional second chance.”
Epstein offered similar comments when discussing Russell’s non-tender Monday. Epstein made it clear Russell was let go due to his on-field struggles. The decision had nothing to do with Russell’s domestic violence suspension.
Comments from Theo Epstein on the decision to non-tender Addison Russell: pic.twitter.com/43Vca6VLLt— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 3, 2019
The Cubs paid Russell $4.3 million in 2019.
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