Votto Chatter is Annoying


I don’t think it could be summed up any better. Is this now becoming baseball’s equivalent to “Everybody Loves Raymond” where now “Everybody Loves Votto”?

Apparently so. The latest of rumors have the Tampa Bay Rays having an interest in the Reds two-time All-Star first baseman. Joel Sherman tweeted such a couple of days ago.

We’ve heard much about Toronto. Even Seattle.

But these rumors shouldn’t be of any surprise to any Reds fan. With Votto due $9.5 million (plus $1.5 million signing bonus) for 2012 and $17 million (plus $2 million bonus) for 2013, the cost may seem exorbitant to some within baseball circles. The all-to-familiar tag of “small market team” seemingly has the Reds in a position of having to deal him.

Not so fast.

Image: Bo Hussey

What some of these people are forgetting is that now is the time for the Reds to take a grasp of things, like grasp of the division…at least. Sure, say the Reds are weak at this position or that position, but there is a fact here that simply cannot be overlooked: Votto is the Reds best player. That’s what’s enticing, almost intoxicating to other clubs. Votto can be the missing piece for some teams. Maybe that piece that propels them from pretender to contender.

Oh, and another fact: The window is open for the Reds to make a run at the division. Again, pull all the supposed weaknesses of the club into this mix if you wish. The Reds do have the talent to win the NL Central in 2012. Votto is also an extremely important piece for the Reds…as well as many other MLB teams.

And Walt is mad at these rumors. Here’s what he told John Fay:

“I was so (ticked) off (Tuesday),” Jocketty said. “I don’t know why people continue writing it.”

Agreed, Walt. Completely agree. I would like to know exactly what Walt used instead of “ticked”, though. I know what I would have said. Yep, Fay may it reading for the “G” audience.

There’s at least two years in which the Reds can claim the perch within the division. Again, I will grant you the Reds could use upgrades at certain positions. You may feel inclined to suggest that dealing Votto could produce upgrades at multiple positions should he be “made available” as Sherman suggests. I don’t think that can be denied either. It’s a fact as well.

But Jocketty has the right approach on this. I believe that unless the Reds lay a huge egg in 2012, we may not hear anymore about this. Well, a whole lot more. That 400-pound gorilla could lie dormant for at least one more season anyway. Hopefully. Those positions considered of weakness can be upgraded with other names brought into a deal, not Votto’s. As has been suggested on more than one occasion, you have pieces, use them.

Then again, it is the hot stove time of the year. Rumors of trades and signings will create all sorts of attention and curiosity.

Too bad that this is coming at the expense of Votto and the Reds.

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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto MLB MLB Trade Rumors Reds Trade Rumors Trade Rumors Walt Jocketty

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    I think the Reds are better in 2012 by keeping Votto and trading for a SP than they are if they trade Votto for a collection of players. Either way will be an improvement over the 2011 club, which isn’t saying much, but if your goal is to win a World Series in the next two years, which this club is the closest it can possibly get with this roster, then Votto needs to remain on the roster while you fix problems elsewhere. After 2012, with a $7.5m jump in salary, you reconsider. But for 2012, I think you keep Votto.

  • heatherknitz

    Well, well, well…isn’t this a refreshing post! I wholeheartedly agree!

    Here is my bottom line:

    I want the Reds to win a world series.

    I want the Reds to win a world series soon.

    The Reds need Joey Votto to win a world series.

    The Reds need to figure out how to keep him.

    Vottomatic = Reds World Series = happy fans

  • JohnHeitz

    Just remember Brian, the Reds did very little to change the 1974 team to the 1975 version but the results were dramatically different. Attitude and heart are half of the battle…

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @JohnHeitz Very true and, to me, that’s all the more reason to keep Votto and add a SP from somewhere else. This core is good, even better than their poor 2011 showed. A couple extra pieces, the motivation of playing for something (unlike the lack of motivation in the 2nd half last year), I think this team could do some damage. But if you trade Votto, put Alonso in his place, I think the offense becomes a little above average and then even with the improved pitching and possibly one other improvement for a position player (from Votto trade), you’d be looking at an average team. Instead of one that has a chance to make the postseason again.

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    I think the Reds are better in 2012 by keeping Votto and trading for a SP than they are if they trade Votto for a collection of players. Either way will be an improvement over the 2011 club, which isn’t saying much, but if your goal is to win a World Series in the next two years, which this club is the closest it can possibly get with this roster, then Votto needs to remain on the roster while you fix problems elsewhere. After 2012, with a $7.5m jump in salary, you reconsider. But for 2012, I think you keep Votto.

  • heatherknitz

    Well, well, well…isn’t this a refreshing post! I wholeheartedly agree!

    Here is my bottom line:

    I want the Reds to win a world series.

    I want the Reds to win a world series soon.

    The Reds need Joey Votto to win a world series.

    The Reds need to figure out how to keep him.

    Vottomatic = Reds World Series = happy fans

  • JohnHeitz

    Just remember Brian, the Reds did very little to change the 1974 team to the 1975 version but the results were dramatically different. Attitude and heart are half of the battle…

  • beeker

    I’m with Jocketty. This is really starting to (tick) me off, too. I’ve been coming to a slow boil with all of this speculation, and the lid is about to blow.

    I’m not bothered by the guys in Toronto or Tampa Bay or whatever town dreaming up some scenario by which their team could land a guy like Votto. I completely get that. Why wouldn’t they want him powering the offense for their boys? I’m not discussing these guys here.

    But that is not what some of these big paper, east coast writers are doing. They are working from the premise that the Reds (and other “small market” teams) are simply a talent incubator that is never really going to contend and so will quickly jettison its star player in its unquenchable thirst for more prospects. No matter what Jocketty says, Votto MUST be on the market to these guys. Dreaming up trade scenarios is an easy way to draw eyeballs to their columns.

    Obviously, payroll realities dictate decisions like this every year. But why does it not seem plausible to any of these trade speculators that building a contending team with Votto at the heart of it could fill seats and allow the Reds to add to their payroll? Isn’t that exactly what Jocketty did in St. Louis?

    I don’t see these guys writing articles about how there is no way that the Cardinals can ever give Pujols $25M or more per year. Last year they weren’t creating lists of a half-dozen prospects that STL could get if they traded him to Team X. But at under $10M next year, it seems ludicrous to these writers that the Reds would even entertain the thought of keeping Votto. Jerks.

    The St Louis area has roughly 700K more people than the Cincinnati area. If the Cards can support a $105M payroll, couldn’t the Reds support a ~$90M payroll if they can contend with a young team?

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @JohnHeitz Very true and, to me, that’s all the more reason to keep Votto and add a SP from somewhere else. This core is good, even better than their poor 2011 showed. A couple extra pieces, the motivation of playing for something (unlike the lack of motivation in the 2nd half last year), I think this team could do some damage. But if you trade Votto, put Alonso in his place, I think the offense becomes a little above average and then even with the improved pitching and possibly one other improvement for a position player (from Votto trade), you’d be looking at an average team. Instead of one that has a chance to make the postseason again.

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @beeker I made a similar point on Twitter. If the Reds kept Votto and they won the World Series, who’s to say they couldn’t then afford to keep him without destroying their budget? So trading him for 2012 assumes it as fact that there will never be a way to keep Votto. Why not try to get better with him and see what revenue that generates for your ball club?

  • beeker

    @brian.k.hines I don’t know that it takes winning the WS. Making the NLDS will boost attendance in 2013. Getting a win helps. Getting to the NLCS will boost a lot. And making the WS would do wonders. Fans know that, with the youth and talent of this team, they can be the team to beat for several years. THAT will get butts in seats!

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @beeker Yeah, I didn’t mean that only winning the World Series would keep Votto in Cincinnati. I just meant that you don’t know what will happen if you keep him and improve the ball club elsewhere, what kind of boost you’ll see and what that will allow you to do with his contract in the future. The idea that he can’t be re-signed is predicated on the idea that nothing will ever happen to allow the Reds to make more money and increase the payroll. I think that idea is off base.

  • beeker

    I’m with Jocketty. This is really starting to (tick) me off, too. I’ve been coming to a slow boil with all of this speculation, and the lid is about to blow.

    I’m not bothered by the guys in Toronto or Tampa Bay or whatever town dreaming up some scenario by which their team could land a guy like Votto. I completely get that. Why wouldn’t they want him powering the offense for their boys? I’m not discussing these guys here.

    But that is not what some of these big paper, east coast writers are doing. They are working from the premise that the Reds (and other “small market” teams) are simply a talent incubator that is never really going to contend and so will quickly jettison its star player in its unquenchable thirst for more prospects. No matter what Jocketty says, Votto MUST be on the market to these guys. Dreaming up trade scenarios is an easy way to draw eyeballs to their columns.

    Obviously, payroll realities dictate decisions like this every year. But why does it not seem plausible to any of these trade speculators that building a contending team with Votto at the heart of it could fill seats and allow the Reds to add to their payroll? Isn’t that exactly what Jocketty did in St. Louis?

    I don’t see these guys writing articles about how there is no way that the Cardinals can ever give Pujols $25M or more per year. Last year they weren’t creating lists of a half-dozen prospects that STL could get if they traded him to Team X. But at under $10M next year, it seems ludicrous to these writers that the Reds would even entertain the thought of keeping Votto. Jerks.

    The St Louis area has roughly 700K more people than the Cincinnati area. If the Cards can support a $105M payroll, couldn’t the Reds support a ~$90M payroll if they can contend with a young team?

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @beeker I made a similar point on Twitter. If the Reds kept Votto and they won the World Series, who’s to say they couldn’t then afford to keep him without destroying their budget? So trading him for 2012 assumes it as fact that there will never be a way to keep Votto. Why not try to get better with him and see what revenue that generates for your ball club?

  • JohnHeitz

    My. my Steve, you have touched a nerve…

  • beeker

    @brian.k.hines I don’t know that it takes winning the WS. Making the NLDS will boost attendance in 2013. Getting a win helps. Getting to the NLCS will boost a lot. And making the WS would do wonders. Fans know that, with the youth and talent of this team, they can be the team to beat for several years. THAT will get butts in seats!

  • http://blogredmachine.com/ brian.k.hines

    @beeker Yeah, I didn’t mean that only winning the World Series would keep Votto in Cincinnati. I just meant that you don’t know what will happen if you keep him and improve the ball club elsewhere, what kind of boost you’ll see and what that will allow you to do with his contract in the future. The idea that he can’t be re-signed is predicated on the idea that nothing will ever happen to allow the Reds to make more money and increase the payroll. I think that idea is off base.

  • JohnHeitz

    My. my Steve, you have touched a nerve…

  • beeker

    @JohnHeitz Yes, yes he has!

  • beeker

    @JohnHeitz Yes, yes he has!

  • Steven Engbloom

    @JohnHeitz I can have that effect when the situation warrants such.

  • Steven Engbloom

    @JohnHeitz I can have that effect when the situation warrants such.

  • Steven Engbloom

    @heatherknitz I like this kind of math!

  • Steven Engbloom

    @heatherknitz I like this kind of math!