Chicago Cubs: Will Addison Russell, Albert Almora be back in 2020?
Addison Russell and Albert Almora, Jr. are both arbitration-eligible. Will the Chicago Cubs offer contracts to them this offseason?
The Chicago Cubs have six arbitration-eligible players on their roster this offseason: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras and Albert Almora, Jr. Bryant, Baez, Schwarber, and Contreras are locks to receive contract offers, leaving Russell and Almora as candidates to be non-tendered. Will either of them be back next year?
It’s hard to say for sure. This front office has been unyielding in their loyalty to ‘their’ guys – and both Almora and Russell fit the bill. Chicago selected Almora in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft and developed Russell after acquiring him in the 2014 trade that sent Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija to Oakland.
Still, neither guy produced anywhere close to where the Cubs anticipated in 2019. Russell, who has been under near-constant criticism given his off-the-field matters, fell flat on the diamond, as well – with an 81 wRC+ offensively and a -3 UZR on defense.
Meanwhile, Almora went from a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder to a defensive liability as his offensive production cratered. In short, neither did much to help their stock – and with change afoot at Wrigley Field, it’s worth wondering what the future looks like for both of these guys.