The Chicago Cubs are taking advantage of a young player’s potential by giving David Bote a cheap extension that gives them long-term cost control.
It is easy to think that most if not all Chicago Cubs fans were fairly surprised when the team reached a five-year, $15 million extension with David Bote as reported by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. This is their second notable contract extension in 2019 after they gave one to Kyle Hendricks a little over a week ago. Bote, 25, is slashing .364/.462/.455 in four games in 2019.
Just a year ago, Bote was in Triple-A and got some attention after a nice spring training performance. But, at that point, he was hardly considered a big-time prospect. He finally got the call to the bigs and had a very interesting 2018.
More from Cubbies Crib
- Cubs starting pitching has been thriving on the North Side
- Make no mistake: the Cubs are very much about power hitters
- Cubs are giving pitcher Javier Assad a deserved shot
- Cubs: It’s time to start thinking about potential September call-ups
- Cubs: P.J. Higgins deserves to be in the lineup on a daily basis
After a hot start, he cooled off late in the year and ended with a .239/.319/.408 slash with six homers and 33 RBI in 74 games. However one could not forget his epic walk-off grand slam against Washington along with a number of other clutch hits.
Outside of hitting Bote has done some nice work with his glove at third base, posting a DRS of 5 and UZR of 4.4 last year. He also has played second and a little bit of shortstop and outfield. Versatility is something the Cubs love and Bote has given that to them.
Why this extension cannot hurt.
Even with the big hits he had last year and versatility, one may see it as odd they are extending a guy like Bote. What if he really just fizzles out? That could happen, but there is clearly potential with him and the Cubs want to take advantage of it. According to Rogers, it was Bote who initiated the conversation so there was clearly mutual interest in him staying a Cub for a while.
There really is not much risk here, making only $15 million over five years. This deal also includes two club options, so his performance will determine his longevity as a Cub. If he turns into a nice piece and he hits well and continues to field well, they have him for a while. If not, then they have little money to eat and not much thrown away.
The extension also has people asking questions: Will this spell the end for Addison Russell? Can this help make Ian Happ a trade piece with limited room on the roster moving forward? What about Kris Bryant or Javier Baez? Time will tell for sure, but considering Bote initiated the conversation probably indicates this is unrelated to Russell. This is also a much different situation than Bryant or Baez, it is much easier to extend Bote for $15 million over five years than what those two are valued at.
Take this extension for what it is, the Cubs agreeing a young 25-year old that wants to stay has potential worth keeping. It will either pay off or no harm done. Money goes into effect in 2020.