Cubs Agree to $15M Deal with David Bote Through 2024

Wow, looks like there are a few acts still taking the stage at Extenstion-Fest 2019. A week after extending Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs have agreed to terms with 2018 late-inning hero David Bote. The new contract is for five years with two club options, so it could run through 2026 and Bote’s age-32 season.

Exact terms of the deal are unknown, but ESPN’s Jesse Rogers is reporting that it’s for $15 million over five years beginning next season. Theo Epstein said Bote was the one who initiated the talks, so it’s clear the utility infielder wanted to remain with the Cubs long-term.

Because he was already under club control through 2024, this isn’t really an extension as much as it provides Bote with security and eliminates the need for arbitration. No word yet on the value of the options or any potential escalators, but it’s probably safe assume around $5-6 million. Seems like a good deal all the way around.

While Bote had been mentioned in offseason trade rumors, this move shows that the Cubs have faith in him as part of the team moving forward. He’ll have a hard time carving out a regular role this season, but that will change in the future with Ben Zobrist‘s contract ending after this season and Daniel Descalso signed only through next year.

The front office is really high on Bote, who has emerged as a quiet leader and has set an example with his work ethic. After struggling once pitchers got the book on him last year and started beating him with high heat, Bote has made adjustments to his hand position to better catch up. Little things like that don’t go unnoticed.

It’s possible that this portends future moves with middle infielders, specifically Addison Russell. Set to return next month at the conclusion of his 40-game domestic violence suspension, Russell would presumably take over at short and push Javy Báez to second base. That would in turn leave far fewer opportunities for Bote, though this extension seems to indicate the Cubs want him out there as much as possible.

We’ll know more about that later, so let’s just focus on #EveryBoteIn for now.

Update: The details of the new deal are out. Bote will receive a $50,000 signing bonus and his salary will increase over time, from $950,000 in 2020 to $5.5 million in 2024. The Clubs options are for $7 million in 2025 ($1M buyout) and $7.6 million ($500K buyout) in 2026. Mark Gonzales also reports that there are “plenty of incentives.

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