4) David Bote
David Bote came up with the Cubs in 2018, near the end of their last window of contention. He was a below-average player, but most rookies are. He showed significant improvement in 2019, and it seemed as though he, Nico Hoerner, and others could take over from the previous core of position players, which included Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Addison Russell. Early in that 2019 season, Bote signed a five-year extension, buying out his arbitration and pre-arbitration years. It guaranteed him $15MM, a fairly hefty salary.
Bote appeared in 127 games in 2019 and, as previously mentioned, showed significant improvement. Since then, however, he has played just 183 games in the big leagues. He's hitting just .212 since 2019 and has posted an OPS of just .661. He's spent all of 2023 in the minors, and though the results are fairly encouraging, he has not been called back to Chicago.
Bote is only making about $10MM between 2022 and 2023, but that is $10MM wasted for the Cubs. Even though the Cubs run the highest payroll in the division, $10MM is nothing to sneeze at. That money could be used on a solid reliever, or it could go toward another young player. Instead, David Bote is raking in the big bucks while playing for the Iowa Cubs.