3 possible destinations for Joey Votto if he doesn't return to the Reds in 2024

If Joey Votto doesn't return to the Cincinnati Reds in 2024, where might he end up?
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Joey Votto's time in the Queen City seems to have all but come to a close. Votto was ejected from Sunday's game in St. Louis, in what could have been his swan song with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds hold a $20-million club-option for the 2024 season with a $7-million buyout. There's no way Votto's getting $20-million to come back next season, so look for Cincinnati to decline the club-option which would make Votto a free agent this winter.

If Votto wants to play again in 2024, the Reds could always renegotiate a new deal, but that's looking more and more unlikely by the minute. Which other teams could have an interest in bringing Votto into their clubhouse in 2024?

1. Joey Votto could play for the Astros instead of the Reds in 2024

Let's be real, if Joey Votto is going to play again in 2024, he's not just going to go suit up for the Oakland Athletics or Washington Nationals. If Votto returns next season, he should have one goal in mind - to win a World Series Championship.

Is there any franchise that would provide Votto with a better opportunity to do that than the Houston Astros? Currently, Votto's former manager, Dusty Baker, is leading the charge in Houston. However, Baker's contract is up after this season. It remains to be seen if Dusty will return to H-Town in 2024.

Jose Abreu was signed to a three-year contract this past offseason and is currently the Astros' first baseman. Abreu has had a down-year, but it'll be hard for Houston to move off that contract in order to open up a regular spot in the lineup for Votto.

Votto could always act as the Astros' designated hitter, but one of the best sluggers in the game seems destined to stay in that spot, While Yordan Alvarez can play left field, he's much better suited to remain as the Houston Astros DH.

Could Joey Votto fit with the 2024 Houston Astros roster? Absolutely. It's a veteran-led team with postseason aspirations. If Dusty Baker is still managing the Astros in 2024, don't rule out the possibility of Votto re-joining his old skipper in Texas.