Chicago Cubs: Long-term implications at-stake for Russell & the club
This offseason, Addison Russell is arbitration eligible. As all of the Manny Machado trade rumors have swirled this season we looked at Russell’s arbitration years as years of team control. However, the Cubs could also choose to not offer Russell arbitration and release him. To be sure that would be losing a tremendous baseball asset.
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However, given the accusations he faces and the pending investigation, there’s a chance (depending on what the investigation concludes), that ownership decides to part ways with the infielder.
If Russell does remain a Cub, his trade value (at least short-term) will likely plummet. Think about Aroldis Chapman‘s trade value when the Reds traded him to the Yankees. And then think about his trade value when the Yankees traded him to the Cubs.
Also, if Russell continues to be part of the organization he could face a lengthy suspension. Would the Cubs be comfortable with Bote and Zobrist as the backup shortstops next season? If they are feeling really good about Bote’s glove at shortstop and his bat in the bigs full-time, then perhaps Bote is the solution. But if not, the Cubs may try to acquire a veteran backup shortstop.