Every time Addison Russell’s name pops up from now on it’ll be a bad day for the Cubs. We know, it’s sports, it’s a business, we know teams don’t necessarily care about what should be morally right or wrong and that’s why Russell remains with the Cubs despite his suspension for domestic violence by MLB. Those allegations have been written about in excruciating detail, but ever since the Cubs decided not to non-tender Russell back in November fans knew he’d be receiving a contract for 2019.
That doesn’t make it any less disappointing as the Cubs and Russell avoided arbitration on Friday by agreeing to a $3.4 million salary for 2019. The contract also includes roster bonuses that could make the deal worth $4 million. Basically if Russell remains on the 25-man roster after he returns from his domestic violence suspension he’ll get $4 million.
Russell, who will lose about 540K of his 3.4M base because of DV suspension to start season, recoups all of that if he reaches 4 bonuses of 100K for 30, 60, 90, 120 days on active roster and final 200K bonus for 150 days. https://t.co/6vPWTiWXWr
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) January 11, 2019
According to MLB Trade Rumors projections, which are pretty accurate, Russell was expected to get $4.3 million. Bruce Levine says it would have been about $4.8 million and that fans shouldn’t think the Cubs are trying to give Russell more money back from money he’ll lose because of his domestic violence suspension.
To clarify on Addison Russell the bonus in his contract does not make up for suspended time. His actual Arb number would have been $4.8 million in a normal situation . The team is not trying to reward him for being suspended .
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) January 11, 2019
Bases on Russell’s domestic violence suspension and just flat out bad performance on the field, the Cubs could have easily taken this to an arbitration hearing and ended up paying Russell less.
Obviously from the outside looking in and not knowing any of the details in regards to this negotiation we as fans can speculate that the compromise from both sides came because of the Cubs’ continual stance of support for Russell. In terms of the money, it is less than projected, but maybe Scott Boras gave the Cubs a bit of a discount as they haven’t rid themselves of Russell.
Anyway, I still don’t think Russell plays another game for the Cubs and his salary for 2019 does make it more appealing for teams who may want to trade fro him. Also, because the salary is lower than expected, it would also cost the Cubs less if they decide to cut him during spring training.
Also, since his base pay is much lower than expected, the cost to release him in Spring Training (termination pay) is also now quite a bit lower than expected. If released early, 30 days termination pay = about $560K.
Just, uh, including that in the name of being comprehensive.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 11, 2019
The Cubs also avoided arbitration with the other six players eligible.
All right, so Cubs avoid arbitration with all 7 players.
Bryant: $12.9 million
Hendricks: $7.405 million
Baez: $5.2 million
Russell: $3.4 million
Schwarber: $3.39 million
Montgomery: $2.44 million
Edwards: $1.5 million
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) January 11, 2019
As of now with the salaries set for the arbitration eligible players, the Cubs payroll for 2019 is about $207 million and $223 million in luxury tax payroll.