Addison Russell Rumors: Tigers Among Teams Interested in Former Cubs SS

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 31: Addison Russell #27 of the Chicago Cubs stands in the dugout during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 31, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers are reportedly interested in former Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the news Thursday, noting multiple teams are interested in the 25-year-old.  

This comes after the Cubs announced they non-tendered Russell on Monday and decided not to offer him a contract for the 2020 season.

Any signing of Russell is going to make headlines for more than just baseball reasons since he was suspended 40 games at the end of the 2018 season and the beginning of the 2019 season for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

His ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, detailed allegations of Russell's physical, emotional and verbal abuse on her personal blog prior to the suspension.

The Cubs also sent him to the minor leagues last season after he admitted he was somewhat unfamiliar with the team's signs in his fifth season with the club.

From a baseball perspective, Russell is still a young player with plenty of upside. It wasn't long ago he finished the 2016 season with 21 home runs and 95 RBI. He also helped Chicago break its 108-year World Series drought with two critical home runs in the National League Championship Series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and a grand slam in Game 6 of the Fall Classic against the Cleveland Indians.

Yet he saw his wins above replacement totals drop from 2.6 in 2015 and 3.3 in 2016 to 1.5 in 2017, 1.4 in 2018 and 0.5 in 2019, per FanGraphs.

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Detroit is in rebuilding mode after finishing with a 47-114 record last year. It could take a flier on Russell and hope the cliche change of scenery helps him rediscover his old production.