David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Former All-Star shortstop Addison Russell is reportedly close to resuming his professional baseball career in the KBO.
Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Russell is finalizing a one-year deal with the Kiwoom Heroes and is expected to arrive in South Korea soon.
Russell served a 40-game suspension split between the end of the 2018 season and the start of 2019 for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
The discipline from MLB came after Melisa Reidy, Russell’s ex-wife, alleged multiple instances of physical and emotional abuse from him when they were married.
She wrote in a post on her blog, LifeWithMelIs.com:
“The first time I was physically mistreated by my spouse, I was in shock. I couldn’t wrap my head around what just happened. … Why did he get so angry? What did I do for him to want to put his hands on me? Of course I forgave him & assumed it would never happen again. I just thought he had let his emotions get the best of him, he loves me and he’s sorry. I was deeply hurt that he could even be capable of this behavior towards me, I couldn’t understand how the man I was so in love with, the FATHER of my child, the man I married just a few months ago could show such aggression towards me. …
“Emotional/verbal abuse started way before I even realized, eventually it started to be an everyday thing. Being blamed for just about anything that went wrong, name calling, intimidating me with personal force, manipulating me to think I was the problem, destroying my personal things, threatening me to ‘send’ me & our son home to my parents as if I was privileged to be living in our home.”
Russell played in 82 games for the Cubs last season, where he hit .237/.308/.391 with nine home runs and 23 RBI in 215 at-bats. The 2016 All-Star became a free agent last December when Chicago non-tendered him.
The Heroes are currently fourth in the KBO standings at 24-17.