Controversial former Cubs shortstop Addison Russell may be flirting with baseball in Korea.
Scott Boras has been feverishly, almost comically busy this offseason. The baseball super-agent has been accused of meddling behind the scenes of the MLB Players Association’s affairs in addition to his typically ruthless salary negotiations on behalf of his clients, and now, his next project may scale the full length of the Pacific Ocean.
After taking steps to gauge potential interest in client Matt Harvey within Korea’s KBO, he’s reportedly doing the same with former Chicago Cubs infielder Addison Russell. And given the shortstop’s past transgressions, setting him up far, far away from Major League Baseball feels like a gift.
Addison Russell leaving for the KBO could help MLB avoid a massive headache
In addition to Matt Harvey, @borascorp also sent info on free agent SS/2B Addison Russell to several #KBO teams. Team official today told me “we’re seeing lots of former #mlb all stars on lists sent in by agents.” Will any of them actually play in #KBOLeague this yr? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/WjICOfrjrR
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) June 8, 2020
Russell, who was non-tendered by the Cubs at the end of the 2019 campaign after spending the first five years of his career with the team, became persona non grata after he became embroiled in domestic violence drama involving his now-former wife three years ago. He did not face legal comeuppance but was suspended 40 games by the MLB.
He was never the same afterward, posting career-low numbers in 2018 before logging just 82 games last season while bouncing back and forth between the minors.
All told, zero teams should have to confront the painful reality of ever having to consider this man as a free agent signing. Teams can’t help themselves when it comes to overlooking serious off-field transgressions — specifically domestic abuse — in the name of trying to win a trophy. The Cubs aren’t more than a half-decade removed from doing this exact thing, trading for Aroldis Chapman on the heels of a domestic incident but doing so to try and win a World Series (they did but with little help from Chapman).
Russell served out his punishment and is considered a player in good standing as of this time. The fact that he’s a former All-Star and World Series champ just 26 years of age and still unattached to a club, however, speaks volumes. He’s clearly used up his MLB privileges, at least for now. Hopping continents feels like the only way to redeem his career, and it saves baseball from falling over itself at a time where it seems the sport can do nothing but screw up in impossibly bad ways.
If anything, Boras and Co. are doing this man a favor in pushing him to a faraway land.