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Cubs, Addison Russell part ways
Tuesday, December 3, 2019

(CHICAGO) – The Chicago Cubs tendered contracts for the 2020 season to six arbitration-eligible players but non-tendered infielder Addison Russell on Monday. 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 2019, and he sat out the first 28 games of last season to complete his suspension. He was demoted to the minors last summer. Russell's OPS dipped below .700 in 2018 and 2019 after several promising years to begin his career. In a statement, Cubs President Theo Epstein said the club decided to non-tender Addison Russell 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. Russell was the National League All-Star Game starter at shortstop in 2016, the same year he helped the Cubs to a World Series title for the first time in 108 years. He hit a Game 6 grand slam, which essentially won the contest for the Cubs, who trailed 3-2 in the series at the time. Russell was acquired from Oakland for Jeff Samardzija and and Jason Hammel on July 4, 2014, in a trade for which Chicago was widely praised. Cubs who were tendered contracts for 2020 include shortstop Javier Baez, third baseman Kris Bryant, outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr., catcher Willson Contreras and pitcher Kyle Ryan.

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