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Addison Russell Tendered Contract by Cubs Amid Domestic Violence Suspension

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 12:  Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs throws to the infield against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on September 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Brewers defeated the Cubs 5-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Shortstop Addison Russellwho still has 31 games remaining on a 40-game suspension for violating MLB's domestic violence policy, will be back with the Chicago Cubs in 2019 after being tendered a contract Friday.  

Cubs president Theo Epstein issued a statement announcing their decision to bring Russell back:

"If we're willing to accept credit when a member of our organization succeeds on the field, what should we do if he engages in conduct off the field worthy of discipline from Major League Baseball? After a very thorough process, we have chosen to take action to try to become a small part of the solution for Addison, his family, Melisa Reidy and the larger issue of domestic violence prevention."

Russell issued a separate statement about returning to Chicago and steps he's taken since being suspended last October:

"I offer my heartfelt apology to my family and my former wife Melisa for my past behavior. I also want to apologize to Cubs fans, the Cubs organization, and my teammates for letting them down. Since accepting my suspension, I've had time to reflect on my past behavior and think about the next steps I need to take to grow as a person.

"Here are the first steps I've taken: I accepted my suspension and did not appeal. I am responsible for my actions. I am complying with the MLB-MLBPA treatment plan, and I will be meeting regularly with different experts, counselors, and therapists. Even before any mandated treatment, I took the extra initiative of obtaining my own therapist and I have been meeting with that therapist several times a week for the last two months and plan to continue this therapy beyond the MLB treatment plan.

"With that therapy, I am attempting to improve myself by learning new outlooks and understanding different emotions. After I have done my own therapy and gained new insights into myself, I hope to be able to work with non-profit groups in Pensacola, Chicago, and Arizona to support their missions and become part of the solution."

Russell has been accused of domestic violence against his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, twice since June 2017. 

Accusations first arose when Reidy said Russell cheated on her in an Instagram post, which led to one of her friends commenting on the post that he physically abused Reidy. 

Reidy then wrote on her personal blog in September that Russell engaged in a pattern of emotional and physical abuse during their relationship:

"I couldn’t understand how the man I was so in love with, the FATHER of my child, the man I married just a few months ago could show such aggression towards me… I simply could not wrap my head around it, it tore me apart. As much as I tried to pretend it never happened, I noticed myself avoiding making him angry in anyway in fear of it happening again."

MLB opened an investigation after the first accusations were made against Russell. The 24-year-old was initially placed on paid administrative leave before the league announced his 40-game ban retroactive to Sept. 21 last month. 

Russell has two more years of team control remaining before free agency. His .657 OPS in 130 games last season was the worst mark of his four-year career.