Reds' fans could get their wish as Joey Votto continues to receive little interest

Joey Votto may yet do the thing he's always expressed an interest in doing.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) acknowledges the crowd
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) acknowledges the crowd / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Votto's first experience as a free agent has not gone how he'd hoped. The former Cincinnati Reds first baseman, whose club-option was declined earlier this offseason, is still without a team.

With a little over three weeks remaining until Opening Day, Votto appeared on the Dan Patrick Show late last week and spoke about the experience. Votto said he's yet to receive a "firm offer" this offseason and the subject of retirement came up during the conversation as well.

There are two different groups of Reds fans that appear to have emerged this offseason. There's that collection of wishful-thinking Reds fans who would love to see Votto return to Cincinnati for one last run, and then there's the naysayers who think it's time for the six-time All-Star to hang up his cleats. Those of you who fall in the latter classification may get your wish.

Reds' fans could get their wish as Joey Votto continues to receive little interest

While injuries have played a role in Votto's failings over the past two seasons, it's hard to get around the fact that he's hit just .204/.317/.394 since 2022. Not only is his slash line atrocious, Votto is also striking out over 25% of his plate appearances. We're talking about a player who, for years, prided himself on taking bases rather going down on strikes.

Votto is said to have had interest from a handful of teams. The Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays have been rumored to be intrigued by the idea of inking the former NL MVP to a deal, but nothing has materialized.

During his conversation with Patrick, Votto cited the slow market as one of the reasons he's received little play on the open market. And while it's true that Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery remain unsigned, this isn't an apples to apples situation. Snell and Montgomery have had multiple offers, but none of them have matched their supposed value. Votto has received anything.

Votto may be coming to the harsh reality that no player wants to face; the game may have passed him by. Votto isn't a versatile defender, nor is he an adept base stealer; both attributes are highly-coveted into today's game. Votto's on-base percentage has dropped over 50 points the past two seasons and his defense at first base is below average.

The Reds are not interested in a reunion with Joey Votto

As a franchise, the Reds have moved on. The Reds declined Votto's club-option, added Jeimer Candelario in free agency, extended Jonathan India's contract, and are embracing the youth movement that will hopefully yield positive results in 2024 and beyond.

This is hard for those who support Votto to hear, but he's in the twilight of his career, and the market is speaking loud and clear. If Votto decides to retire, he'll have done what he always wanted to do and what Reds fans have been hoping for - he'll leave the game of baseball having only played for the Cincinnati Reds.

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