Cincinnati Reds: Free agent options to platoon with Joey Votto at first base

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on against the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 25: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on against the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next
Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on against the Minnesota Twins.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 27: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on against the Minnesota Twins. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

It’s time for Reds first baseman Joey Votto to find a running mate.

Most fans do not like the idea of platooning, but it’s time to face the reality that it’s part of the game of baseball. Furthermore, it’s time to face the reality that Joey Votto is not the same player he was back in 2017. The 2020 season marked a low point in Votto’s career when he was benched due to poor performance. Is there a free agent available who the Cincinnati Reds could pair with Votto?

To think of Joey Votto as an everyday player as we head into the 2021 season is a bit of a reach. At 37-years old, can the former MVP be counted on for 162 games? No, especially if you want him to be effective. Additionally, Votto’s defensive performance in 2020 was horrendous. Any metric you look at would show he was among the worst fielding first basemen in the league.

Votto’s five errors were tied with Pete Alonso for the most among first basemen in the National League. In 133 games last season, Votto was charged with just seven errors. According to FanGraphs, Votto’s -7 defensive runs saved was his worst performance since 2016 (12 DRS). Votto’s -7 DRS was the worst in the NL with Rhys Hoskins -5 ranking second-from-the-bottom.

Since there’s no one in the Cincinnati Reds minor league system fit to join Votto at first base, perhaps the front office would do better to sign a free agent. While there’s not a plethora of options currently available, that could change as the December 2nd non-tender deadline approaches. So, which free agent first basemen could Cincinnati pursue this winter?