CHICAGO – Suspended shortstop Addison Russell and the Cubs agreed Friday to a one-year, $3.4 million contract, a relatively small $200,000 raise for a player whose relationship with the team appeared strained after a domestic violence suspension.
Russell accepted a 40-game suspension last October for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy after allegations made by his ex-wife. He missed the final 11 regular-season games plus the wild-card playoff loss and will be eligible to return May 3, barring postponements.
Russell will lose pay during the suspension. He can earn an additional $600,000 in roster bonuses based on days on the active roster: $100,000 each for 30, 60, 90 and 120, and $200,000 for 150.
Kris Bryant agreed to a one-year $12.9 million deal, a raise from $10.85 million. Also agreeing to one-year deals were Javy Baez ($5.2 million), Kyle Schwarber ($3.39 million) and pitchers Kyle Hendricks ($7.405 million), Carl Edwards Jr. ($1.5 million) and Mike Montgomery ($2.44 million).
The Cubs won 95 games and made the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. But a wild-card loss to Colorado was unsatisfying after three straight trips to the National League Championship Series and a drought-busting World Series championship in 2016.
Bryant made two trips to the disabled list last season because of inflammation in his left shoulder. The 2016 NL MVP set career lows in games played (102), batting average (.272), home runs (13) and RBIs (52).
Baez – the MVP runner-up to Milwaukee's Christian Yelich – set career-highs with a .290 batting average, 34 homers and a league-leading 110 RBIs.
Schwarber hit .238 with 26 homers and 61 RBIs after struggling in a big way the previous year coming off a knee injury.
Hendricks finished 14-11 with a 3.44 ERA. The right-hander was 8-2 with a 2.51 ERA in his final 12 outings.
Montgomery was 5-6 with a 3.99 ERA in 38 games – 19 starts. Edwards had a career-low 2.60 ERA in 58 games, though he had 12 walks in 11 appearances in September.