No matter what David Bote does, the Cubs refuse to give him another shot

Despite corner infield needs in recent years, the veteran has just 41 big league games to his credit since the start of the 2022 season.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Sunday afternoon saw David Bote tie for the MLB spring training lead with his third home run in Cactus League play, raising his OPS to a ridiculous 1.341 in 14 at-bats. Regardless of what he does in the coming weeks, though, it feels like a foregone conclusion he'll once again wind up spending the year at Triple-A Iowa.

Since the start of the 2022 season, Bote has just 41 big league games to his credit - an impressive feat given that the Cubs haven't exactly been world-beaters during that span. At some point, Chicago might have given him a chance to make an impact at Wrigley, but that hasn't been the case.

This spring, as well as in each of the last two years, Bote has done everything in his power to impress in spring training. He closed out Cactus League play with an OPS north of .900 in both 2022 and 2023, only to head straight to Iowa. Last year, specifically, he spent the entire year at Triple-A, despite the Cubs' glaring needs at both corner infield spots.

David Bote seems destined to waste away at Triple-A Iowa again in 2024

After Bote inked a somewhat surprising five-year, $15 million extension after a pretty abbreviated body of work with Chicago, his relevancy has faded with each passing season. Of course, he did himself no favors with the numbers he put up in 2021 (which amounted to a 64 OPS+) but even after rebounding the following year, it didn't appear the Cubs were in any way motivated to give him another shot.

Now, with the Cubs infield seemingly set in stone with Christopher Morel and Michael Busch getting a chance to lock down the corner spots and Gold Glovers Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner up the middle, the path toward regular ABs is rockier than ever. Even the bench seems close to final with Mike Tauchman already guaranteed a 26-man spot, and the likes of Patrick Wisdom, Miguel Amaya and Miles Mastrobuoni likely to round things out.

It's been a strange situation to bear witness to. One way or another, though, the saga will draw to a close at season's end. 2024 marks the final year of that extension, meaning Bote may finally get a chance to play every day next season - but that opportunity certainly won't come from Hoyer and the Cubs.