Reds Talked Votto-Bautista Swap With Jays Before The Deadline?


Spending the trade deadline on a weekend vacation left me watching the deadline unfold from my phone. In spite of this, I watched the date come and go with the Reds making no deals and pretty much resigning to fighting it out with the roster as it was and take the chances of contention as they are. We heard the names of the usual suspects the Reds targeted and bowed out on but I saw on John Fay’s blog that the Reds could have been working on something that would have bumped even an Ubaldo Jimenez acquisition down the headline list.

Fay writes that a reader tipped him that Walt and Co. could have been talking to the Blue Jays on a swap of Joey Votto and a prospect for Jose Bautista. My first reaction is to recoil and deny any thought that this trade could happen simply on the basis of Votto’s stature as presumably the premier face of the Reds but as a couple minutes passed logic started seeping in and this sort of deal makes some bit of sense. The amount of sense this deal might have made is contingent upon a couple factors: how confident the team is in Yonder Alonso being the first baseman going forward post-Votto and how confident the team is that Bautista will continue to perform at a world-beating level at or above what Votto could bring. The age difference between the two players (Votto is 27 to Bautista’s 30) is small but it is something that I pause on as well even though both players are still in their prime.

Now the parts of the deal that make sense. Bautista is signed through 2016 for a relatively decent $14 mil a season as opposed to Votto’s contract that runs out after 2013. The Reds’ chances of resigning Votto at the end of this current contract look much more bleak than they were this past offseason. Votto will be poised to get major league paid after this deal and will almost instantly be above the Reds’ pay grade. 6 years of Bautista at his current home run hitting production may be greater than 3 years of Votto. Not only this but I am pretty sure Bautista’s bat will fill the left field hole nicer than pretty much any other player in the league. The deal might be attractive for the Blue Jays since they acquire the hometown boy in Votto and instantly have a ticket selling weapon they would be able to resign and who is 3 years younger.

I really like things that are logical and make sense and this deal just makes a whole ton of sense really. While Fay reported that a Jays’ scout was at Dayton so there could have been some smoke, nothing materialized to the point of hearing some serious rumors. I will still file this under what might have been and remember it this winter where I have a feeling if it was talked about at all it might get talked about again.