Cincinnati Reds should make Joey Votto available, if MLB expands

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

With Montreal on the short list the Cincinnati Reds should leave Joey Votto available, if MLB expands.

The Cincinnati Reds have arguably the best player in the history of Canada on their team.  At some point history matters.  If baseball re-enters the city of Montreal, it matters even more.

The Montreal Expos were the first MLB team outside of the United States.  They were active from 1969 through 2004.  Today, only the Toronto Blue Jays play outside of the US.

Despite the size of the city the question is whether baseball can ever succeed in Montreal.  The Expos replaced the Triple-A Royals, who folded in 1960.  The team appeared to be great shape until the player’s strike in 1994.

The strike, however, cost the team so much money that they had to trade off most of their successful pieces.  With a worse product on the field the fans stopped coming in large numbers.  MLB bought the team in 2002 and moved them to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

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Since that time, Toronto has been Canada’s lone representative in MLB.  Since the Expos relocated, the Blue Jays have only made the playoffs twice.  They also haven’t made the World Series since 1993.

For the past two years, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has hinted that Montreal is his top choice for expansion.  He mentioned Mexico City in 2016 and Portland in 2017.  If that comes to fruition, then Joey Votto may be the best ambassador that baseball could have.

Between his salary and history, the Cincinnati Reds should leave Joey Votto exposed in any expansion draft including Montreal.

More from Joey Votto

Prior to Joey Votto, former Expo Larry Walker was the definitive best position player in the history of Canada.  Walker left for the Colorado Rockies after the 1994 season.  Canadian baseball hasn’t been the same since.

Votto could return life to baseball in Montreal. He is the only baseball player to win the Lou Marsh Trophy as the best athlete in Canada twice.  Walker and Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins are the only two other baseball players to ever win the award.

On top of the great feel good story, it could be beneficial for the Reds.  If this happens, it will be several years down the road.  That will the area in Votto’s contract that the Reds will have trouble affording.

Next: The Reds should sign Eugenio Suarez for the long term

The Reds have the best offensive player in the National League.  He is also the best position player in the history of Canada.  The Reds need to respect history if given the opportunity.