While we wait to see when — or even if — baseball will be played in North America, a former member of the Cubs has a new baseball address:
Former Cubs SS Addison Russell is finalizing a one-year contract with the Kiwoom Heroes of the KBO, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN. Russell, who was non-tendered by Chicago last year after serving a 40-game domestic-violence suspension, should soon be in South Korea.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 20, 2020
Let me make it clear: The purpose of this article is not to rehash Addison Russell’s personal issues that got him non-tendered by the Cubs. I simply post to point out that a significant member of Cubs postseason teams over the last five years has a new ballclub.
The Kiwoom Heroes are currently 24-17 and in fourth place in KBO, the Korean major league. Per this roster list, former Cub Eric Jokisch is also a member of the Heroes.
Russell, who was drafted in the first round (11th overall) by the Athletics in 2011, was acquired by the Cubs from the A’s along with Dan Straily and Billy McKinney in exchange for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, July 5, 2014.
In five seasons with the Cubs, Russell hit .242/.312/.392 with 60 home runs in 2,212 plate appearances, good for 10.7 bWAR. His best year was the Cubs’ World Series championship season of 2016, when he hit .238/.321/.417 with 21 home runs and 3.7 bWAR. He was on the National League All-Star team that season and finished 19th in N.L. MVP voting.
I wish Russell well playing baseball in Korea and hope that he continues to get the help he needs to live a good life off the field.