Addison Russell has grown to be one of the most hated baseball players in history next to Ty Cobb. Facing suspensions, domestic violence charges, and hate, Russell was non tendered in his contract, meaning that he would not return to the Cubs for 2020. This is the Addison Russell story, and his unlikely comeback, explained.
Addison Russell was drafted by the A’s in the 2012 MLB Draft out of high school. He signed, and spent 3 years in the A’s organization before being traded to the Cubs with Billy McKinney, Dan Straily, and cash for Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija. Russell made his major league debut in 2015, when he slashed .242/.307/.389 with 13 HR. Believe it or not, this was a lot like Robinson Cano’s 2019 season when he slashed .256/.307/.428 with 13 HR.
2016 was his first full year in the majors, and in 151 games he slashed .238/.321/.417 with 21 HR. A defensively stellar Russell was elected to the All-Star team and 19th in the MVP race. In 2017 he slumped along with the Cubs, as his defense and offense dropped off.
It was on June 7, 2017, that Melisa Reidy-Russell published an Instagram post implying that she was having marriage problems. A close friend of Reidy-Russell accused Russell of physically abusing his wife. Two weeks later, Reidy-Russell filed for divorce. It wasn’t over yet. In fact, it was far from over.
Again Russell wasn’t very good in his age 24 2018 season, as he slashed .250/.317/.340 with 5 HR. His defense was again lacking. This drop off from his 2016 season can be pointed to the upcoming allegations and trouble with the MLB.
In September 2018, Reidy-Russell accused Addison Russell of “laying his hands on me”. The full quote goes like this:
“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock,” Reidy-Russell wrote. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened. … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me?”
And then on September 21, 2018, the MLB put Russell on paid administrative leave. Two weeks later, the MLB suspended Russell for 40 games. He did not appeal the decision.
Russell served his suspension, and he split his 2019 between the majors and AAA. He slashed .237/.308/.391 with 9 HR in 2019 in the majors, and .281/.387/.563 with 7 HR in AAA. And on December 2, 2019 Russell was granted free agency.
Although his MLB career is most likely over, his baseball career is not. And the future is looking up for him as he signed with a team in the KBO.