The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, December 03, 2019 1:00 am


Cubs decide to let Russell walk away

Associated Press

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs failed to offer a 2020 contract to shortstop Addison Russell on Monday, making the 2016 All-Star a free agent one year after he was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

Russell was banned for 40 games last offseason after a series of allegations made by ex-wife Melisa Reidy. The 25-year-old returned to the Cubs in May and batted a career-low .237 with nine homers, 23 RBI and a .699 OPS.

Russell earned $4 million in 2019 and was likely to gain a raise in arbitration, probably around to $5 million.

“We decided to non-tender Addison Russell today simply because the role we expected him to play for the 2020 Cubs was inconsistent with how he would have been treated in the salary arbitration process,” Cubs executive Theo Epstein said in a statement.

The Cubs also agreed to a one-year deal with right-hander Jharel Cotton on a and failed to offer a contract to left-hander Danny Hultzen before the tender deadline. Hultzen, the second-overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, overcame numerous injuries to make his major league debut in 2019. He pitched 31/3 scoreless innings over six appearances.

Reds add Moustakas

All-Star infielder Mike Moustakas and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $64 million, four-year contract, the team's first move to upgrade a lineup that struggled to score.

Moustakas became a free agent for the third straight offseason after declining a mutual option with the Brewers. Moustakas earned $18.7 million in a pair of one-year deals. He hit .254 with 35 homers and 87 RBI this year, making his third All-Star team. He began the season at second base and moved to third with Travis Shaw in a slump.

Catcher McCann gets raise from White Sox

All-Star catcher James McCann agreed to a $5.4 million, one-year contract with the Chicago White Sox, more than doubling his salary. McCann, 29, was eligible for arbitration.

Chicago declined to offer 2020 contracts to Gold Glove second baseman Yolmer Sánchez and relievers Ryan Burr and Caleb Frare, making them free agents. Right-hander Thyago Vieira was released to play in Japan.

Left-hander Carlos Rodon, closer Alex Colomé, reliever Evan Marshall and utlityman Leury García were tendered contracts, making them eligible for arbitration.

McCann set career highs with a .273 batting average, 18 homers and 60 RBI in his first year with the White Sox. He also was an All-Star selection for the first time.

Committee to vote on union head's Hall fate

The Hall of Fame's 16-man modern era committee meets Sunday to consider nine players plus former union head Marvin Miller for election.

The modern era committee considers candidates from 1970 to '87, and a candidate needs at least 75% of the vote to be elected. This year's ballot includes newly added Dwight Evans, Thurman Munson and Lou Whitaker along with holdovers Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker and Ted Simmons. Miller is on a Hall of Fame ballot for the eighth time.

Trade news

San Diego acquired switch-hitting second baseman Jurickson Profar from Oakland for catcher Austin Allen and a player to be named. ... Cleveland acquired veteran catcher Sandy León in a trade from Boston for minor league right-hander Adenys Bautista. ... Boston tendered outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. a contract for the 2020 season. He is projected to earn about $10 million next season. ... Outfielder Alex Dickerson reached agreement on a $925,000, one-year contract with San Francisco.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily