The Cubs have been mentioned in connection with some possible trade targets lately, but the moves they’ve made so far during the break are slightly less noteworthy. They were also very much expected, as Albert Almora Jr. was activated from emergency family leave and Carl Edwards Jr. was activated from paternity leave.
Almora’s sudden absence was unexplained at the time he left the team when they were in San Diego, but we later learned that there were some possible complications with his wife’s pregnancy. All is apparently well now, though, as the center fielder tweeted that his wife, Krystal, is doing much better and that “baby #2 is kicking all over the place.
@krystalalmora Is doing much better and baby #2 is kicking all over the place! We want to thank you for all your prayers and support!! Much love #5
— Albert Almora Jr. (@albertalmora) July 16, 2018
Edwards was likewise away from the team for a couple days to be present for the birth of his second child, but he was officially reactivated Tuesday. In order to make room on the roster, both David Bote and Rob Zastryzny were optioned back to AAA Iowa.
Bote has performed particularly well, slashing .310/.415/.452 with a 132 wRC+ and 0.7 fWAR in 53 plate appearances over four separate call-ups. It’s not wise to assume he’d keep that up were he to get everyday run, but that production is over 40 percent higher than Javy Baez’s on a per-PA basis and equates to 7.0 fWAR over a full season.
As much as they’ve enjoyed his production, you have to think the Cubs are looking at Bote as one of those guys who’s got some value to teams that might be looking to sell at the deadline. For now, he’ll continue to be the next man up if someone on the big club gets hurt or has to step away.