Chicago Cubs: What infielder will likely be gone next season?
Addison Russell – INF
If there is one Cubs player that has been controversial over the past two seasons, it’s Addison Russell. Fans abandoned the young player on news that MLB was punishing him for domestic violence. Russell had denied any part of the controversy until MLB concluded its investigation and Russell confessed his violent behavior.
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Of course, if Russell were to become an untouchable product, the Cubs would lose millions in what they had invested in the young shortstop. When Russell returns, he is slowly brought back into the lineup; past the boo-birds in his earliest appearances back on the Cubs roster.
Then one day, as the Cubs management knew would happen, Russell hits a home run and then another, and now he has been redeemed. Not only are his sins forgiven, but he raises his value, which was not even possible at the beginning of the season with all the negative publicity surrounding him.
Russell was recently hit in the face with a pitch which caused the Cubs to put him on the IL and call up rookie sensation Nico Hoerner. Hoerner shows up with a strong arm and even better bat, making Cubs management think real hard about whether they should start to consider Russell’s contribution since his return.
We know that Russell’s play and offense haven’t been great and 2020 brings his first year of arbitration with the Cubs. Last year, Russell was given a $3.4 million deal for the 2019 season. While that is super-cheap for an infielder and one as talented as Russell, the Cubs are ready to move on to another candidate with less harmful exposure. Expect Russell to be traded either before or after arbitration next season.