Sunday will not be Joey Votto's last home game with the Reds because of his 2024 salary.
Let's get this out of the way, shall we? Joey Votto's presence on next year's team has absolutely ZERO to do with money. Now some Reds fans will laugh at that notion, but it's the truth. The only guaranteed money the Reds have committed to next season is the $3-million owed to Hunter Greene.
So, the Cincinnati Reds could pick up Votto's $20-million option and be no worse for wear. They'd be foolish to do so, but paying Votto $20-million in 2024 is not going to affect Cincinnati's plans.
For all those Reds fans out there who expect Cincinnati's ownership to cut loose this offseason and start writing checks to all the top free agents, I've got news for you - it's not happening. And not for the reasons you think.
Yes, Reds ownership is notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to free agent spending. But that's not why the Reds will be extremely selective when it comes to potential free agent contracts during the offseason. Quite frankly, outside of Shohei Ohtani, there aren't many upgrades who'll be available this winter.
Matt Chapman might be the best position player available, and the Reds have no need for a third baseman with all the young infielders currently on the roster. Even the starting pitching market is thin. Do you really want the Reds to overpay Blake Snell? How about Jack Flaherty? Maybe Lucas Giolito?
Nope. The Cincinnati Reds payroll in 2024 will look very similar to what the Baltimore Orioles trotted out this season. The O's $71-million payroll, according to Spotrac, is the third lowest in baseball.
So while the Reds are more likely to buyout Joey Votto for $7-million and then renegotiate a potential one-year deal, the amount of money that the six-time All-Star might make in 2024 is not the reason Sunday could be his final home game in a Reds uniform.