The pros and cons of the Reds bringing Joey Votto back in 2024

There are reasons for and against bringing Joey Votto back to Cincinnati next season.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Adam Hunger/GettyImages
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Con: Joey Votto doesn't fit the style of play of this Reds team

Father Time is undefeated. Joey Votto, who'll be 40 years old on Opening Day next season, is not the same player he was even two years ago, much less five years ago. Votto was never fleet of foot, and that wasn't necessarily a detriment five years ago. But this Reds team plays the game a different way.

One of the greatest attirbutes of last year's Reds team was speed. Elly De La Cruz, TJ Friedl, Stuart Fairchild, Will Benson, and Matt McLain were flying around the base paths last season. In total, the Reds had eight players with double-digit steals. Even Luke Maile stole two bags last season.

Votto appeared in 65 games last season and recorded zero stolen bases. Only one player on the Reds appeared in more games and failed to steal a base; Tyler Stephenson (142 games played).

Most fans, however, will forgive their catcher for not swiping a bag. Only one catcher, J.T. Realmuto, stole more than six bases last season.

But the Cincinnati Reds cannot go backwards. According to Baseball Savant, Joey Votto ranks in the in the bottom 12- percent of the league in sprint speed. Stephenson's sprint speed is in the 38th-percentile per Baseball Savant.

The point being, Joey Votto's lack of speed will clog up the base paths of an otherwise fast ball club. The Reds, no doubt, won games because of their team speed and aggressive base running in 2023. Neither of those qualities fit Joey Votto's style of play.