Chicago Cubs cut infielder Addison Russell, one year after domestic violence suspension
The Chicago Cubs officially parted ways on Monday with infielder Addison Russell, who was once a top prospect but saw his star dim quickly when his ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse.
Russell, 25, received a 40-game suspension in September 2018 after a Major League Baseball investigation of claims made by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, detailing physical, mental and emotional abuse during their two-year marriage, which ended in divorce that August.
Russell served his suspension and rejoined the Cubs last May, but hit a career-low .237 and never returned to the level of performance that earned him an All-Star berth in 2016.
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Addison Russell was suspended for a total of 40 games during the 2018 and 2019 seasons under MLB's domestic violence policy. (Photo: Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports)
The Cubs faced criticism from women's rights advocates for not cutting ties with Russell once details of his alleged abuse became public.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Russell "lived up to his promise to put in the important self-improvement work necessary off the field" but decided not to offer him a contract because his expected role with the team "was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process."
Comments from Theo Epstein on the decision to non-tender Addison Russell: pic.twitter.com/43Vca6VLLt
Russell is in his final year of salary arbitration after signing a one-year, $4.3 million contract with the Cubs for 2019.
Monday marked the deadline to offer arbitration-eligible players contracts or allow them to become free agents.
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