Chicago Cubs: Addison Russell rendering Manny Machado trade irrelevant.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

What’s the problem?

Despite the two quietly productive seasons, Russell continues to be at the center of all trade talks. The latest rumor, surrounding Orioles star shortstop Manny Machado, suggest the idea that the Cubs could make Russell available in a blockbuster deal.

The general opinion surrounding Russell is quite something. On the one hand, there is a large portion of Cubs Nation who wish to see Russell go and could care less if the Cubs do trade him. On the other hand, many people continue to track Russell this season, finding that he has been, in fact, better.

A quiet consistency

Russell, who is currently slashing .278/.357/.389 with 3 HR and 16 RBI, has already posted a 1.8 WAR and is one of the Cubs most consistent starters on both sides of the ball. Still, Russell is finding himself at the center of a lot of negative trade talk.

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Despite the narrative from many that Russell is bad, this season he is proving his worth. Russell’s production has been stable enough too that the idea of shipping him off in a deal for Machado is beginning to fall by the wayside and for a good reason.

Concerning his advanced production, Russell has a 104 wRC+ and a highly respectable .327 wOBA. Both are career highs for Russell. Conversely, Russell has been extremely productive on the base paths, as he is at a 2.3 BrR through the first 65 games. To put this into context, last season in 110 games, Russell posted just a 1.0 BrR. The base running and aggression are both shining beacons of hope for continued future production from Russell.

On the defensive side of the ball, Russell has been almost better and is also showing himself as one of the best shortstops in the National League.

First, through his first 516 1/3 innings at shortstop, Russell is already at a 9 DRS. Last season, in 808 innings, Russell finished with a 15 DRS. Second, Russells UZR/150 is at 7.8. In the entirety of last season, Russell posted a 6.8 UZR/150. Both of these categories show that Russell is, in fact, a very solid player.

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