Addison Russell’s initial administrative leave runs through tomorrow, as MLB investigates allegations of domestic violence by his ex-wife. If MLB does not come to a determination at that time with respect to punishment, it can seek an additional week of leave, which would take Russell’s absence into the postseason.
From the sound of things, though, regardless of what happens with respect to administrative leave, a suspension – and a missed postseason – is coming:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 26, 2018
According to Ken Rosenthal, MLB’s investigation has already produced “additional credible information” of domestic violence beyond Melisa Reidy’s blog post, and that was actually part of the decision to place him on administrative leave in the first place. If true, a suspension of some length is a virtual certainty, given past precedent under the joint domestic violence policy.
If such a suspension were to be handed down soon, it would carry into the postseason, and, even if not entirely through the postseason, I would find it hard to believe the Cubs would have Russell rejoin them – coming off suspension – in the middle of the NLCS or World Series (if they should be so fortunate to reach those levels).
What happens after that remains the subject of debate. The Cubs control Russell’s rights via arbitration for three more seasons, and, at age 24 with an elite glove, his *baseball* value is probably still considerable. That doesn’t mean, however, you still keep a guy when you consider all the circumstances, and it also doesn’t mean that his overall value – for example, in trade – hasn’t been severely reduced. If the Cubs decide to move on, they may not get much for him (which is not to say it would be the wrong move, all things considered).
We – and the Cubs – will cross that bridge when the offseason arrives.