On Wednesday, the Cubs came to terms on a contract extension with one of their younger players. However, it wasn’t Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber or Kris Bryant. Nope, it was none other than 25 year-old infielder, David Bote. The Cubs and Bote came to terms on a 15 million, 5-year deal lasting through 2024. After that, the Cubs have a team option in 2025 and 2026 if they wish to exercise it.
Bote, an 18th round pick from Longmont, Colorado, has less than a year of service time in the big leagues, but has impressed the Cubs as they have locked him up for the next few seasons. He burst onto the scene immediately, hitting a double in his first MLB at-bat of his career. He fully became a favorite of the Cubs faithful last year when he delivered a walk-off grand slam against the Nationals to win 4-3 in front of a raucous Wrigley Field.
Bote started out hot, but ended up tailing off to end his first taste of big league action. In 210 plate appearances he finished with a .239 batting average to go along with 6 home runs and 33 runs batted in. However, Bote did have the 3rd highest exit velocity of anyone in baseball at 95.3 MPH.
The one thing about Bote that makes him very useful is his fielding ability. Joe Maddon has been a main proprietor of his players playing in different positions. We’ve seen Ben Zobrist in that utility role. Ian Happ had some experience with it, and even Kris Bryant was asked to play some outfield for the Cubs. Last season, Bote made an appearance at every position in the infield besides catcher. He even had an appearance in the outfield. This season, though only 5 games in, he’s already started at 2nd and appeared at 3rd.
This contract is a very friendly deal for the Cubs and one that looks beneficial for both sides. Bote should be a big-leaguer for quite a while and his ability to make hard contact and be a versatile defender gives the Cubs a lot of flexibility.
Photo via NBC Sports