This was always assumed to be in the works, as Votto's decline over the past few seasons would not merit the Reds paying the former MVP $20-million next season. Instead, Votto will receive a $7-million buyout.
However, Reds fans, knowing this day was coming, had held out hope that Votto may return in 2024 on a renegotiated deal. But president of baseball operations Nick Krall appears to have poured cold water on that idea.
Nick Krall's comments suggest Joey Votto will not re-sign with the Reds in 2024
The Cincinnati Reds press release contained a quote from Nick Krall. It read, in part, "At this point of the off-season, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves."
I don't know about you, but it doesn't sound like Krall and Joey Votto's represenatives will be sitting down at the negotiating table anytime soon. In fact, I'd put the chances at slim-to-none.
Of course, Krall left the door for a possible reunion. But with Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand both likely to be key pieces of the Cincinnati roster moving forward, Votto would not be an everyday player if he were to return to the Reds in 2024.
Joey Votto has made it clear that he wants to play in 2024, but it now appears as though that he'll have to do without wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform.
Votto has been synonymous with Reds baseball for nearly two decades, but after seeing the vast amount of young talent emerge last season, Cincinnati seems poised to usher in a new era of Reds baseball.