CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs tendered contracts for the 2020 season to six arbitration eligible players but non-tendered infielder Addison Russell. Russell, 25, becomes a free agent after five years with the team, his final two seasons marked by controversy.
The second baseman/shortstop was suspended for 40 games near the end of the 2018 season for violating the league’s domestic abuse policies. Despite that suspension, the Cubs tendered him a contract for the 2019 season as he sat out the first 28 games of last season to complete his suspension. His on-the-field game suffered as he dealt with the consequences of his off-the-field actions.
He was demoted to the minors last summer not long after telling ESPN he needed to be “more familiar” with the signs. Russell’s OPS dipped below .700 in 2018 and 2019 after several promising years to begin his career.
Cubs president Theo Epstein issued a statement regarding Russell.
“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,” he said. “In the year since we decided to tender Addison a contract…