Cubs Make Arbitration Deals With Seven Players Including Addison Russell

Addison Russell, arbitration
Addison Russell (By Keith Allison – Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link)
By Steve Garcia

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- While the MLB offseason continues and the Bryce Harper and Manny Machado sweepstakes still up in the air, it’s business as usual in the Cubs front office as Theo Epstein and Co. signed seven players to avoid salary arbitration.

The seven players include two of their biggest stars, third baseman Kris Bryant at $12.9 million; second baseman/shortstop Javier Baez at $5.2 million; starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks at $7.405 million for one year; reliever Carl Edwards Jr. at $1.5 million for one year, thereby avoiding arbitration; starting/relief pitcher Mike Montgomery at $2.44 million; left fielder Kyle Schwarber at $3.44 million; and controversial shortstop, Addison Russell, who, reportedly is being offered $3.44 million with bonuses.

Some of Russell’s $3.44 million will be taken out of his salary due to him still serving his suspension from Major League Baseball for domestic abuse charges by his ex-wife, Melisa, toward the end of last season. His suspension is still carrying over to this upcoming season and he is eligible to make his return on May 3.

The bonuses that are being included in the offer are to give him a chance to make some of that salary back, if he is still on the roster. The offer to Russell is quite surprising, considering the severity of the allegations against him, as well as a very disappointing season in 2018.

The biggest issue for the Cubs this season was their questionable payroll. With the dollar amounts that have been laid out, the Cubs now have a better idea of how to handle their 2019 payroll and try to amplify their roster.

The other recent moves that the Cubs have made this offseason have been a two-year contract for utility fielder, Daniel Descalso worth $5 million at $1.5 million of that is owed in 2019, and trade pitcher Drew Smyly to the Texas Rangers and his $7 million contract to make room for the $20 million option that they picked up for starting pitcher, Cole Hamels.

Spring Training begins on February 13.