Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said the organization isn't set on cutting ties with shortstop Addison Russell, who has 28 games left to serve on his suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy.
"Everything remains an open question," Epstein said Monday, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "The only determination we've made is that we need to be part of the solution, both from the organizational standpoint and in supporting the discipline and supporting and exploring a possible road to rehabilitation and improvement."
Major League Baseball suspended Russell for 40 games in October after his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy, wrote a blog post in September alleging he'd abused her during their marriage. The league's investigation came more than a year after a friend of Reidy's made initial accusations against Russell on social media.
The Cubs are committed to engaging with Russell, who's also undergoing mandated counseling, on additional rehabilitation. Epstein added that it's important for the organization to dedicate resources toward player education and prevention.
"We take credit when players grow up and experience great success on and off the field, and we feel proud of playing a small part of that," Epstein said. "When a player has something in their life that goes the other direction or does something that you’re not proud of, does that mean you should automatically cut bait and move on and have it be somebody else’s problem, or maybe society’s problem? Or do you explore the possibility of staying connected to that player with the hope of rehabilitation, including a lot of verification along the way?
"I think these are difficult things to wrestle with. But I’m not sure the answer is simply to cast the player aside and hope that someone else performs that work or that the work takes place at all."