Yet, Votto turns 40 in September and only played 91 games in 2022, batting 208. Most fans felt like Votto was in the twilight of his career.
Even with a poor 2022, Votto is the highest paid Reds player on the roster at $25-million per season. That contract is only guaranteed through 2023. Yet, the Reds have a $20-million player option for 2024. Now, no one wants the Reds to offer up that kind of money to their aging slugger, but could Votto return?
Joey Votto's return in 2024 is very much in play with bounce back season.
Joey Votto could restructure a deal that would allow him to play another season with the young gun Cincinnati Reds. Currently the Reds are atop the Central Division and are led by hot hot rookies Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer and a cast of other Reds nowhere near 40 years old. Could a veteran like Votto continue to help in the clubhouse and on the field in 2024?
Joey Votto recently made his return to the 2023 Reds lineup and is batting .278 with 3 home runs and 7 RBIs in only 18 at-bats. That type of production could be used in any lineup in Major League Baseball. If Votto's bounce back stats continue to be near his first 18 at bats the Reds will have to consider bringing him back.
Ironically enough, in the preseason fans heard some rumblings about Votto being traded to Toronto if the Reds fell out of contention before the All Star break. Votto has to be considered one of the greatest Canadian born baseball players of all time. Therefore, the idea of representing Toronto (his birthplace) would have sounded appealing until these Reds happened.
If the Cincinnati Reds stay in contention, their will be no trade talk for Joey Votto. The talk will begin to revolve around a potential return for 2024.
That talk will also involve top Triple-A prospect, first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who is currently batting .329 in Louisville. Fans are eager to see with the big league club. So many options and talented players, that's a great problem for Reds management to have.