Former Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has signed a contract to play in the KBO League. The troubled player wasn’t having any luck finding a spot on an MLB roster. It will be a one-year, $530,000 deal with the Kiwoom Heroes. Surprisingly, he will be making more money than many of the games rising stars. The season has already begun, so Russell will soon be in South Korea, ready to compete.
Addison Russell will be making more money than Juan Soto, Pete Alonso, and Gleyber Torres this year. https://t.co/nINdxSdbzb
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) June 20, 2020
Chicago Is Moving On
Chicago decided it was best for the organization going forward to non-tender Russell in the off-season, which made him an unrestricted free agent. Cubs’ president Theo Epstein insured that the decision was made strictly from a baseball perspective. Although, the 26-year-old’s problematic personal life is a contributing factor as to why he can’t find a spot on a major league team.
Former Cubs SS Addison Russell is finalizing a one-year contract with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Russell, who was non-tendered by Chicago last year after serving a 40-game domestic-violence suspension, should soon be in South Korea.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 20, 2020
Russell played a key role in the team’s 2016 playoff run. He was an All-Star and even received some MVP votes at the end of the season. He and Javier Baez were an exciting duo in the middle of the infield. Unfortunately, his play began to decline and his life off the field was controversial. His career slash line sits at .242/.312/.392. He was suspended briefly in 2018 and struggled to get onto the field last season.
The Cubs acquired him in a trade deal with the Oakland Athletics — on July 4, 2014. They sent starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the As for Russell, who was a promising prospect. As crazy as it sounds, the Cubs actually won this trade by a landslide. Even though Russell isn’t in the club’s future plans, he certainly had a noticeable impact.
Will Russell Get A Second Chance?
He won’t be suiting up for an MLB team this season (if there is one), but will he get a second chance? I believe he could. His past mistakes certainly won’t make it easy, but if he can perform at a high level on the field, he may just get another opportunity.
Addison Russell will need to undoubtedly showcase his talent in the KBO, and hope that a team takes a major risk on him in 2021. As for the Cubs, they have always had their shortstop of the future with Javier Baez, but the framework of this team could look very different in the coming years.
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