Major League Baseball has concluded its investigation of Addison Russell and found that he violated the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. He has accepted a 40-game suspension without pay. That suspension will be backdated to September 21, the first day he was placed on administrative leave.
MLB’s investigation of Russell began in 2017. His ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, posted on social media shortly after the couple separated and a friend of her’s posted a comment alleging that the Cubs shortstop was physically and mentally abusive. The initial post was later deleted and Reidy was not ready to cooperate with the investigation at that time.
The allegations resurfaced earlier this month when Reidy came forward in a blog post detailing her experiences being married to Russell. In light of the new information MLB placed Russell on administrative leave. That leave was later extended to the end of the regular season. He missed ten games in total.
While there were early reports that Russell and his agent, Scott Boras, explored challenging his status on administrative leave, they ultimately did not.
MLB announced this afternoon that Russell has accepted a 40-game suspension and will complete a comprehensive evaluation and treatment program. Since the suspension is retroactive to September 21, he will miss 30 games of the 2019 season. The Cubs will have some decisions to make. As you can see below, they have the ability to request Russell work out with the team privately in a limited capacity during Spring Training:
a. Unless otherwise provided herein, all suspensions under this Policy shall be without pay, and the Player will be placed on the Restricted List and will not accrue Major League service. A Player suspended during the offseason under this Policy will be placed on the Restricted List immediately upon public announcement.
b. At the request of the Club and with the consent of the Commissioner’s Office, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, the Player may participate in non-public practices or workouts, or at the Club’s Spring Training facility, where all Basic Agreement provisions regarding rehabilitation work will apply.
c. During the term of his suspension, a Player may consent to an assignment to a Minor League affiliate of his Club for a duration not to exceed six (6) days for a Player suspended for a period that encompasses between ten (10) and twenty (20) games; ten (10) days for a Player suspended for a period that encompasses between twenty-one (21) and thirty (30) games; twelve (12) days for a Player suspended for a period that encompasses between thirty-one (31) and fifty (50) games; and fifteen (15) days for a Player suspended for a period that encompasses fifty-one (51) games or more. The Player will receive neither pay nor Major League service and will remain on the Restricted List during such an assignment; however, the Player will be treated as if he were a Major League Player on the road for purposes of hotel accommodations and daily meal and tip allowances.
Here is the full text of MLB’s press release on the Russell suspension.
“After gaining a full understanding of the situation I have concluded it’s in the best interest of my family to accept MLB’s proposed resolution of this matter,” Russell said in a statement released by his attorney, Kathleen T. Zellner.
”I wish my ex-wife well and hope we can live in peace for the benefit of our child.”