Justin Turner signing likely kills Joey Votto homecoming to Toronto Blue Jays

It's back to the drawing board for Joey Votto.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

There's a bit of bad news for all those wanting to see Joey Votto finish his Hall of Fame career in his hometown. The Toronto Blue Jays just signed Justin Turner to a one-year, $13 million contract.

The Blue Jays have seen their fair share of disappointments this offseason. After tracking flights from Los Angeles to Toronto only to watch Shohei Ohtani sign with the Dodgers, Blue Jays fans have seen a flurry of missed opportunities. But after having agreed to terms with Turner, Toronto now appears to have their infield a bit more settled.

That's bad news, of course, for Votto. The former Cincinnati Reds first baseman was said to be receiving interest from the Blue Jays earlier this offseason. But with Turner now in the fold, Votto's chances of playing in front of his hometown fans seems highly unlikely.

Justin Turner signing likely kills Joey Votto homecoming to Toronto Blue Jays

The Reds declined Votto's $20 million team-option earlier this offseason, effectively making the 40-year-old a free agent for the first time in his career. It's been tough sledding for the former NL MVP, as few teams are on the lookout for an aging veteran who only played in 65 games last season.

Despite that, most Reds fans still don't understand why Votto's market has been so tame this winter. We're talking about a player who'll one day find his plaque in Cooperstown, right? While that may be true, Votto's recent performance suggests that he's on the backside of his career and there's not much left in the tank.

Over the past two seasons, Votto has hit just .204/.317/.394. In his previous 15 seasons in Cincinnati, Votto posted a slash line of .302/.417/.520. It's apparent to almost everyone that his skills are on the decline, and Votto's become little more than a part-time player at this stage of his career.

Earlier this offseason, it was reported that Joey Votto had received interest from at least three teams. The six-time All-Star later corrected the initial report and stated that four teams were interested. One such team has been revealed, as the Los Angeles Angels appear to be a potential suitor for Votto.

For those Reds fans still holding out hope that Votto will return to Cincinnati for his final season, president of baseball operations Nick Krall threw cold water on that idea. Per MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, Krall told season ticket holders last week that the Reds don't plan to bring Votto back in 2024.