Suspended Cubs shortstop Russell issues apology, is tendered contract

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Suspended Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell issued an apology on Friday for abusing his former wife.

Russell was suspended for 40 games, effective Sept. 21, for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. The suspension will continue into May 2019.

"I am responsible for my actions," Russell said in his statement. "I am just in the early stages of this process. It is work that goes far beyond being a baseball player - it goes to my core values of being the best family man, partner, and teammate that I can be, and giving back to the community and the less fortunate.
"While there is a lot of work ahead for me to earn back the trust of the Cubs fans, my teammates, and the entire organization, it's work that I am 110 percent committed to doing."

Cubs president Theo Epstein released his own statement.

"The message we would like to leave you with is we take the issue of domestic violence seriously. There is a long road ahead for Addison, and we will hold him accountable. There also is a long road ahead for our organization as we attempt to make some good of this situation. We are committed to being a part of the solution," Epstein said in the statement.

Epstein also said the team will tender a contract to Russell for 2019.

"Today, we are taking the procedural step of tendering Addison a non-guaranteed contract in conjunction with Major League Baseball's deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players," Epstein said. "While this decision leaves the door open for Addison to later make an impact for us on the field, it does not represent the finish line nor rubber-stamp his future as a Cub. It does however reflect our support for him as long as he continues to make progress and demonstrates his commitment to these important issues."

The 24-year-old Russell batted .250 with five homers and 38 RBIs in 130 games last season.

The punishment came after Russell's ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, wrote on her blog that her ex-husband had physically abused her during their short marriage, though she declined to provide more detail about the abuse.

ABC: Ex-wife of Cubs' Addison Russell details abuse allegations

Reidy-Russell said she was approached by MLB investigators last year when a friend first wrote about the abuse allegations on Instagram, but she wasn't emotionally ready to cooperate at the time.
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