Cubs tender 2019 contract to Addison Russell

Addison Russell

Addison Russell

First the statement from Russell:russellstatement

And now the statement from Epstein:

epsteinstatement

I've made my stance clear on this matter over the past couple of months, and only have a few things to add. First, let me say that in my opinion the public apology, and acceptance of responsibility by Russell was long past due. Everyone will need to decide for themselves whether they consider it too little too late, a step in the right direction, or a written statement even enough.

Second, the statement issued today by the organization, as well as those previously made since Russell's ex-wife went public with her account, can be interpreted in many ways in regard to whether Addison Russell will ever suit up for the Chicago Cubs, I do not believe that today's decision has moved the needle much, if at all. While it is the opposite of the decision I advocated for, it was always my belief that the Cubs would make this procedural step. If I can highlight one pertinent passage in the statement from Epstein it would be this:

"While this decision leaves the door open for Addison to later make an impact for us on the field, it does not represent the finish line nor rubber-stamp his future as a Cub."

Finally, I will say that I take them at their word regarding the responsibility they feel to help Russell. The Cubs must consider though, that even if Russell makes enough genuine progress turning around his life for them to consider extending him a second chance, they may still be best served by making that second chance take place elsewhere. I say that because in the eyes of many fans, the organization itself has already blown two chances on past decisions regarding former players Starlin Castro and Aroldis Chapman under similar circumstances. Some may not be inclined to offer them a third so soon, regardless of the organization's and/or Russell's sincerity. It is at least something they need to take into account.

Filed under: Offseason, Transactions

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  • Any business that employs primarily young men, especially coming from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, will find a percentage that have issues with domestic violence as well as other issues that impact society at large. My opinion aligns closely with yours, Michael. Since the Cubs have elected to tender a contract, I wish success to them, Addison, and especially Melisa and the children.

  • Cubs apparently have strong interest in Realmuto and may be willing to move on from Contreras.

  • In reply to bolla:

    That would qualify as the org doing something major. The Montero trade and Ross signing illustrates the importance of having a pitchers type catcher when competing for all the marbles.

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    In reply to 44slug:

    I didn't realize this topic was brought up already, but what you say makes some sense.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Would I take 2 years of Realmuto over 4 years of Contreras? Yes, in a vacuum, I would. What doesn't make sense was that Victor Robles wasn't enough to land him last year for Washington and they've insisted on Forrest Whitley from Houston in any potential deal. One unnamed exec in a piece I read called what they're looking for "a king's ransom". So my answer is if they can get this done with a combination of Contreras and . minor league player or two, sure then go for it. That seems completely unrealistic though.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Not really excited over his .232 average in the 2nd half. I think Contreras’ best is better than him.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    That's interesting when Contreras's slash line for the 2nd half was just .200/.291/.294/.585

    I'm not really for or against this rumored deal. Haven't even read anything of it expect for what posters have mentioned here.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Never implied anything about Willson’s 2nd half. I think Realmuto gets overrated because of his 1st half.

    I think Willson’s best will be better than Realmuto’s. I don’t see it as that big of an upgrade, if at all.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Well when you compared to the 2 and used Realmuto's 2nd half as a poor example of his play, I just thought I should complete the picture.

    Yeah I think the rumors are just smoke and mirrors from the Marlins camp, and nothing more. I just also think that we saw a great little window into what Contreras is capable of in 2017, but I'm not so sure he's ever going to come close to consistently producing those numbers. We haven't seen him come anywhere close to being that guy since. For the record, I hope I'm wrong! I like Contreras, but he's not perfect. I wouldn't be opposed to getting a catcher with better framing skills to platoon with Contreras (somewhere like a 50/50 split) and having Willson play a little more LF if his bat is going to play up to how we'd like.

  • I believe in second chances, especially for young people. So I applaud the Cubs for not doing the easy thing and throwing Addy into the waste bin. They know the backlash they'll encounter from some quarters, so it's a courageous move. I consider it a win, win. They don't lose a valuable asset. But they're also doing what responsible adults and organizations should do: Help a troubled young man grow and become a better human being. I absolutely believe their sincerity on helping Addy and becoming part of the solution. I am very proud of Ricketts, Theo and the Cubs organization.

  • In reply to TTP:

    Agreed I've been saying that releasing him isn't really punishing the guy if the yankees are waiting in the wings to immediately sign him. Why not use this as an opportunity to help a troubled young man as you said while using this situation as an opportunity to try to do good for domestic violence by raising money and awareness. I really felt that firing the guy only hurts the cubs organization, you're not punishing Addy if he gets a job immediately and you're not using this as an opportunity to do good for DV. Releasing him just says he's someone else's problem now and allows the cubs organization to not address this DV incident that happened with their organization

  • In reply to TTP:

    I'll second that! The easy think to do is cut bait and move on. Good luck to all.

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    Has anyone read the article on the Cubs being very interested in Reamalto, and putting Contreras on the block?

    I'm not buying it.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Craig mish is pretty credible and a marlins reporter.He's said for weeks the cubs interest is real and they are a dark horse he's the one who reported today the cubs may be willing to move on from contreras. The issue is the farm is pretty barren and teams like the braves or astros can blow any cubs offer out the water.

  • I can only speak for myself but even if there were zero personal issues I would have wanted Russell gone. Obviously it would have been a trade situation in that case but for me this is a player who I personally can no longer live with as a fan. Other people feel that way about Heyward, and I feel that way there to an extent, but I realized a long time ago that he wasn't a tradable piece and frankly he's a pretty easy guy to root for. From a purely baseball perspective you cannot live with two defense only players day after day. So that's the baseball part and that would have been my assessment regardless, it was in fact if anyone can remember me saying this before this all blew up again in September.

    Here's the thing though, there's a lot more to this than baseball. As any long time Denizens will remember I was livid when the Cubs traded for Chapman. I steamed for days. I only have two absolutes from a moral standpoint and those are if you hit a woman or abuse a child you're dead to me. Yet I, and most other Cubs fans, allowed ourselves to be caught up in the moment and the heat of a pennant race that promised that thing that we had all dreamed on for so long so I wallowed in the depths of my hypocrisy and saw our guys through to the World Series win. It was glorious, but if you think I don't think that I sold a piece of my soul that day than you don't know me. I'm not willing to sell another piece for Addison Russell. I'm going to be pissed about this and I am not going to get over it. Past it, of course, but Theo and ownership have lost a little respect from me today. That is all.

  • In reply to TC154:

    You 100% have your right to your opinion on this matter. But I do ask you this: What if your brother or a best friend were found to be a domestic abuse offender? Would you just turn your back on them? Some people do deserve second chances, and if even their own family and friends can't find the compassion to give just that, who does the offender turn to in order to start their own recovery and rehabilitation? In my opinion, the Cubs front office is doing the admirable thing here in seeing him through this problem instead of just washing their hands of him, as of now anyway. The easy thing to do is to just let him become someone else's problem, which, in my opinion, just adds to decline of our society.

    I wonder what Addison Russell's upbringing was like, and possible abuses he may have suffered as a child that have allowed him to grow into the man that he has become. He may have not been shown the best examples of love as a child, and if there's hope for him to grow as a human being and treat others (not limited to, but especially women and children) better it starts with getting the necessary support from those closest to him, which are his family, friends, and employer, as we know this Cubs organization is a big family itself.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I don’t believe the cubs are 100% doing this to help turn around a young man. Theo and the cubs are in a business to win. If they didn’t feel that addy could help he would be gone. If they could have someone that could help more then he would be gone. I also have lost some respect for Theo over this.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    They will keep helping him until he is traded

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Oh of course, they aren't only doing this in hopes he becomes a better human being. The business side is a huge aspect. But they've come out and talked about their drafting and wanting high character players. That obviously matters to them, and they care greatly about their players and their families. If they had a replacement ready, I still think they'd see the value in helping towards his rehabilitation and raising his value if he can up his game on the field as a result, all in order to flip him for someone else.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I saw your post yesterday and was hesitant to talk about this but I did have to cut a friend loose because of domestic violence. It was a little more that what Russell did, his daughters were involved, but while he did regret his actions the underlying misogyny remained and for that he was not sorry for at all. We had been friends for 35 years. I've also cut off friends and family members for other personal issues. I never stopped caring about these people or forgot what they meant to me at a certain moment in time but their actions damaged me in ways that I can't explain. You see my natural tendency is to want to fix people and I often do it to my own detriment. I may have sounded harsh above but I do wish Addison the best here. I will never forget 2016 and I hope he works through his issues and becomes a better man, but for me every time I look at him I will see an abuser. I won't ever be able to quite forgive myself for my hypocrisy in 2016 when I cheered for Chapman to help us win, I'm not going to do that again. Just my take.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Thanks for replying to me. That does paint the picture towards your feelings and makes it way more understandable. I gave up on a very close friend with a serious alcohol problem (got a DUI driving his daughter to day care because he crashed into a parked car; thankfully everybody was okay). Not quite on level of DV, but still putting his young daughter in harms way is very unforgivable. But I know some of his background/upbringing has played a hand in who he is today. And he really is a great person, but with a sickness that almost seems incurable. It's sad and depressing to be involved in someone who's life is out of control and they don't seem to care, or try hard enough to move things in a positive direction. I cut off that friendship, yet sometimes regret not trying harder to give him more help.

  • In reply to TC154:

    I am looking at this as purely procedural. TC, you know I have been trying to rid the Cubs of Russell for 3 years now. I argued with John when he thought Russell had MVP years in him. Told all in here I would dump him in a Machado dealninba heartbeat. All good debates, but I have never been a believer in his ability. And now as a person, I cannot stand him. He’s a turd.

    I am not holding this against Theo and Ricketts today. If he plays another game in a Cubs uniform, then I will be incredibly disappointed in those guys. I am going to wait until this settles.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Honestly, in the harsh light of day I'm not holding this against the FO or ownership either. They did what they thought was right and owned up to their responsibility in what has happened. It would be unreasonable not to admire that. From a purely baseball standpoint my opinion on Russell has been what it's been since early last year and that he's simply not good enough for what this team needs to win a championship, and I was one of the guys 100% with John thinking he was an MVP type player.

  • I did want to add something that is pertinent to the discussion regarding the Cubs decision today:

    It should be noted regarding Russell that the decision to tender him a contract does fully guarantee him his salary in 2019. All contracts awarded by an arbitration panel are non-guaranteed, which is one reason why most contracts are settled before a hearing, but in the case of Russell the team will undoubtedly decline any requests from Russell's camp to agree on a deal beforehand and instead wait on the arbitration panel's ruling.

    Even if the Cubs have not traded Russell prior to spring training they would still have options to only pay him a portion of his salary if they choose to move on from him. If he were to be released more than 15 days prior to Opening Day the team would only owe him 30 days of pay (roughly $690K) and if he is released less than 15 days from Opening Day they would owe him 45 days of pay (roughly $950K). His contract only becomes guaranteed if he makes it to Opening Day.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I've said this back at the end of last season when all the DV stuff resurfaced, but yes, as you say, the Cubs will definitely go to arbitration with Russell. There is no reason to agree on terms, and the Cubs should really be low balling their salary offer, as I just can't see how his arbitration case could go in front of a panel, and they'd agree he's worth whatever absurd salary number that Scott Boras will request for his client. That in itself will be an interesting window into the mind, morality, and ethics of Scott Boras as he tries to win his client a good deal. I'm pretty sure there's some stipulation in the CBA concerning players salaries that they receive some percentage of a raise in these situations, and the Cubs should definitely offer the minimum raise, or lower even. With exception to Russell's defense (which still has looked to have declined over the past 3 seasons), what profession rewards people who are in the bottom quarter percentile in their performance. Not even considering his off the field issues, as if he didn't have enough on the field issues.

    On another note, pertaining to the fact that the Cubs can still cut him loose before the season starts, I wonder what his 30 days of pay should really look like, especially considering his suspension? As far as I'm concerned his compensation should be the first 30 days of pay, so it really should just be pocket change since he's suspended without pay. But I'm sure the players union wouldn't let that happen.

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    The thing is, brief therapy has been shown ineffective at treating DV offenders. The only evidence-based treatments are not quick, and it's not something you can do while attending to baseball duties. He, and all DV offenders should be exempt for at least a year. I understand that Theo & Co. wish to see him through to the other side, but if you rush treatment, there is no other side. DV offenders are generally the best actors in the world, as they have to be manipulators, and hide their entire way of life from the outside world. That's why they may seem rehabilitated to the untrained eye, when it's usually just a furtherance of their own manipulation. Unfortunately, it seems like the FO didn't consult with any DV experts.

  • In reply to Chris Moffatt:

    Good post and it is something that many regular folks are unaware. It always makes me cringe when people assume that treatment means the issue is corrected. A low percent of abusers are cured. It's an inside out job. It will do the Cubs little good to care more than Russell. He alone can fix it. Abusers, addicts and criminals of all links figure out what the helping people want to hear. Still, one never knows. People change. The odds are not in the perpetrators favor.

  • In reply to Chris Moffatt:

    This is my feeling as well. There is another aspect to this which no one has brought forward: Russell's late night partying and substance abuse have doubtless affected both his susceptibility to injury and his performance. I'd have cut him loose. Though I respect Epstein's approach, I expect it will be a waste of the good intentions.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Exactly, second chances are a tenant of American civil society, except when there is a body. The fact that the offender has no intention of recognising that, does not enter into it. Even when the offender is too damaged to follow through with his good intentions, one is gets a go at reformation. Time will tell with Addison.

  • In reply to Chris Moffatt:

    Thank you doctor.

  • Ronald torreyes non tendered by the cubs!!

  • In reply to bolla:

    Wow someone explain to me the purpose of that trade then?

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah I'm lost on that too. Maybe like you say, there's another deal/signing in the works that made him expendable. Theo apparently likes to give up either money or PTBNL for nothing to Cashman.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don't know. Maybe Theo was ready to cut bait and changed his mind after his final visit with Russell.

  • In reply to bolla:

    Hopefully means that we signed jed lowrie and no longer need him lol ;)

  • In reply to bolla:

    Confusing for sure. Does it have anything to do with Torreyes options? If they tender a contract, he takes up a spot on the 40-man roster, but if they resign him to a minor league deal, he can be added later when needed? There must be some organizational advantage to this move...

  • Realmuto to the Cubs ? I'll believe it when I see it. This sounds like more B.S. to up the ante for the Marlins.I wonder if this is the same guy who started the Manny Machado rumors to the Cubs.
    Before the Addison Russell's abuse to his wife surfaced, I had wished the Cubs to trade him. He doesn't have the baseball I.Q. of a
    Barry Larkin, who Oakland compared him to. He was asleep at the wheel playing S.S. throwing late to first on several occasions. If the Yankees want him, let them pony up and trade for him. I hope he straightens his life out , but not with the Cubs.

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