LA Angels Can’t Allow Joe Maddon to Reunite with Addison Russell
The theme of the LA Angels offseason thus far has been one of reuniting. However, that can’t extend anymore when it comes to a certain middle infielder.
First, the LA Angels reunited with former bench coach Joe Maddon. He has been an extremely impressive manager throughout his time in the league, and he’s now back where it all began. They even brought back Mickey Callaway, who pitched for them in 2002 and 2003, as pitching coach. Currently, the Halos are trying to reunite Gerrit Cole or (and?) Stephen Strasburg with their Southern California roots.
However, the one reuniting that can’t take place this offseason for the Angels is that between Joe Maddon and his former second baseman Addison Russell. As most know, Addison Russell was suspended 40 games in 2018 for a domestic violence incident.
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Normally this wouldn’t even be a thought of Maddon wanting his old infielder back, but considering Maddon’s comments regarding the post from Russell’s wife accusing the former Cub were that “Anybody can write anything they want these days.”
I’ve already written about my distate regarding Maddon and his response to Russell and former Cub Arnoldis Chapman’s domestic violence suspensions, which you can read here. After the Cubs decided to part ways with Russell, Maddon has the chance to bring in a familiar face to the Angels’ clubhouse.
For obvious reasons, and then some more, that cannot happen.
While Maddon’s comments regarding Russell’s situation were already disturbing, one can make the claim he didn’t want to out his player. If he were to lead a pursuit by the Angels in acquiring Russel this offseason, it would be obvious Maddon simply doesn’t care about Russell’s dark history.
Russell doesn’t even belong in the league anymore when you pair his off-field actions and on-field production (or lack thereof). Last season, he was one of the worst hitters in the league with a wRC+ of 81. That puts him far below the MLB average offensively. To put it simply, the Angels don’t need him on their roster, and no team in the MLB should attempt to sign the 25-year old.
I don’t believe the Angels will be actively pursuing Addison Russell. What worries me is if no team shows interest in him, his representatives reach out to Maddon and the Angels looking for a chance. Since Maddon didn’t seem to see anything wrong with Russell’s actions in the past, who’s to say he would deny a former player a second chance now?