The Chicago Cubs arrived in spring training with a whole host of new players on their roster, but one of their core pieces was reportedly dangled as trade bait.
Spring Training Photos: Chicago Cubs Arrive in Mesa
“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said. “My initial thoughts were, ‘I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here.’”
After driving in 95 runs during the 2016 season, Russell took a step back both performance-wise and health-wise in the 2017 season, playing in just 110 games and hitting .239 while smacking 12 home runs and driving in 43 RBI.
If Russell had been traded, odds are that Javier Baez would have moved over to shortstop full-time, with Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist splitting time at second base.
That obviously didn’t turn out to the case, as the Cubs added numerous pitchers through free agency, including Tyler Chatwood, Yu Darvish, and Steve Cishek.