Joey Votto landing spots: Blue Jays, Astros among potential matches after Reds decline veteran’s option
The Reds have had plenty of stars don a Cincinnati uniform. Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Tony Perez, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr., among others, have all called the Queen City home.
For much of the past 15 years, no one has been a bigger star in the city than Joey Votto. An on-base king, Votto has won an MVP, a Gold Glove and six All-Star appearances. Per Baseball Reference, he ranks in the franchise’s top 10 lists in WAR (fourth, 64.4), on-base percentage (second, .409), slugging percentage (sixth, .511), hits (fifth, 2,135), doubles (second, 459), home runs (second, 356) and walks (first, 1,365).
But his 17-year run in Cincinnati could be coming to an end. On Saturday, the Reds declined his $20 million club option, instead paying him $7 million to buy him out of the final potential year of his contract. President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall made it clear in the statement: if Votto is looking for regular playing time, Cincinnati won’t be the place for him.
“At this point of the off-season, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves,” Krall said in the statement. “He forever will be part of the Reds’ family, and at the appropriate time we will thank and honor him as one of the greatest baseball players of this or any generation.”