Former Oakland A’s top prospect Addison Russell is back in professional baseball, as he has signed a contract with the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.
Once upon a time, Addison Russell was a top prospect for the Oakland A’s, a slick fielding infielder who was expected to provide an excellent bat and solid speed on the basepaths. Russell, however, never played a game for the A’s, being sent as part of the package to acquire Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel prior to the 2014 trade deadline.
After a tumultuous five years in Chicago, Russell was unable to attract any major league offers this offseason. However, he is now back in the game, reportedly signing with the Kiwoom Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization.
It may be some time before Russell sees playing time. He will need to go through quarantine and get back into playing shape. However, as games are not being played stateside, this is a great way for him to attempt to rebuild his value.
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While Russell showed promise in this first three seasons, including his being named an All Star in 2016, he never lived up to his billing. Overall, Russell posted a .242/.312/.392 batting line, hitting 60 homers and 100 doubles. However, the vast majority of that production came over his first three years.
Russell ran into trouble off the diamond. He had been suspended for 40 games due to his violation of the league’s domestic violence policy, with his now ex-wife providing horrific details of the abuse she suffered at his hands. Nonetheless, the Cubs brought him back, giving him another chance to prove himself. That chance lasted until his dwindling production made him no longer financially viable.
Now Russell is looking to wipe the slate clean. His past cannot be buried away, but if he can show signs that his offensive production is improving while remaining out of trouble, it is possible that he can get still another chance somewhere. Considering that the A’s are going to be in need of a shortstop next year, Russell could be a low cost option – if he can prove that he has his act together.
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Former Oakland A’s top prospect Addison Russell is getting a chance to resurrect his career by signing with the Kiwoom Heroes in the Korean Baseball Organization. This could be the needed step he has to take to get back to the majors.