Joey Votto left the field on Sunday in what could end up being his final game in front of the home crowd at Great American Ball Park.
Votto was lifted in the eighth inning for pinch-runner Stuart Fairchild following a line drive single into the outfield.
Votto is in the final guaranteed year of the 10-year contract extension he signed with the Cincinnati Reds back in 2012. Votto's contract does, however, contain a team-option for next season. But it would seem as though the Reds are not looking to pick up that option after the season.
Reds have no intention to pick up Joey Votto’s $20 million option, per MLB insider.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cincinnati Reds have no intention to pick up the $20 million option in Joey Votto’s contract. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Votto's time in Cincinnati is up.
Nightengale also mentions the possibility that the Reds and Votto could rework his current contract. Votto's deal contains a $7-million buyout for which Cincinnati is obligated to pay.
Following yesterday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Votto sounded like a man who was unsure of what he was going to do following the 2023 season. There's every reason to believe that Votto, at age 40, could hang up his cleats after the year is over.
But, with the Cincinnati Reds proving everybody wrong who doubted them this season, David Bell would appear to have a fine squad heading into 2024 that could certainly contend for a playoff spot. Is that something Joey Votto would want to sign up for knowing his role on the club would undoubtedly change?
I firmly believe that if Votto wants to return for another year in Cincinnati, the Reds ownership and front office will not stand in his way. But Votto cannot be counted on to be an everyday player.
If the Cincinnati Reds do, in fact, decline to pick up Joey Votto's option, they're making the right move. No team in their right mind would pay Votto $20 million based on his production over the past several seasons. But don't count out the idea of the two sides reaching an amicable agreement during the offseason.