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Suspended shortstop Russell offered 2019 contract by Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Cubs have offered suspended shortstop Addison Russell a 2019 contract while maintaining his future with the team is not uncertain.

Russell is serving a 40-game domestic violence suspension following allegations by his ex-wife.

President of president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says in a statement Friday the “procedural step” by the Cubs “does not represent the finish line nor rubber-stamp his future” with them.

Teams had a deadline Friday to offer contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters.

Russell accepted a 40-game suspension last October for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The decision followed allegations made by his ex-wife Melisa Reidy. Though Russell has denied the allegations, he apologized to Reidy and his family for “my past behavior.”

Russell had a $3.2 million salary last season. His unpaid suspension includes the 11 regular-season games he missed after being placed on administrative leave Sept. 21. Russell will be eligible to return on May 3 against St. Louis, barring any postponements.

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