Major League Baseball has announced that Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been suspended 40 games without pay for alleged domestic abuse. The suspension is retroactive to September 21 and will carry over into the first 29 games of the 2019 regular season. Russell is not appealing his punishment.
Russell, 24, was accused of domestic abuse — physical, mental, and emotional — by his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, who published details in a blog entry two weeks ago. Russell had previously been accused of abuse against Melisa by her friend in the comments of an Instagram post last year in which Melisa accused Russell of cheating on her. Major League Baseball opened an investigation but it didn’t go anywhere as Melisa refused to cooperate. MLB never closed its investigation and picked it back up following Melisa’s blog publishing.
Russell is the 11th player suspended since MLB and the MLB Players Association announced the creation of a domestic violence policy in August 2015. Astros closer Roberto Osuna accepted a 75-game suspension earlier this season, so Russell seems to have gotten off light in comparison.
Javier Báez handled shortstop through the end of the regular season once Russell was placed on administrative leave. That figures to be the case for the start of next season as well. That is, if the Cubs decide to welcome Russell back when his suspension is over. Many in the know believe that Russell’s time with the Cubs is over.