Former Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell signs with KBO team Kiwoom Heroes.
After being non-tendered by the Chicago Cubs at the end of the 2019 MLB season, infielder Addison Russell became a free agent. Generating little interest from MLB teams on the open market, the former first-round pick ended up signing a $530K deal with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO according to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News.
Russell played 5-seasons with Chicago where he hit just .242 with a .704 OPS. In 2018, he was suspended 40-games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy. His image, in the court of public opinion, hasn’t recovered since.
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At the time, Russell told reporters, “I’m not proud of the person I was. But I do want to own this issue and take responsibility for the hurt and the pain I have caused Melisa. And for that, I am sorry.”
As for the Heroes, Mr. Russell wasn’t their first choice, according to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports. Initially, the team was interested in bringing in outfielder Yasiel Puig, but Puig opted to continue pursuing a deal with an MLB team instead.
At $530K, Russell is set to make close to just 16% of what he made as a member of the Cubs last season ($3.4M). $530K is also $25K less than what the MLB league minimum was for the 2019 MLB season and $33K less than the league minimum would have been in 2020.
For Russell, this move could be a second audition for MLB teams who currently remain shut down. Don’t be fooled, however, Russell tends to turn things on when playing outside of the big leagues.
In fact, just last season Russell played 27 games with the team’s AAA affiliate in the PCL. There he hit .281 with a .949 OPS, smacking 7 homers.
With the KBO league well into their season, Russell will have to quarantine for 14-days before officially joining his new team.