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.

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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