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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Pro: Joey Votto should be healthy following his 2022 surgery

If the Cincinnati Reds are basing their decision not to retain Joey Votto solely on the basis of the numbers he put up the past two seasons, they're not wrong in doing so. Votto himself called the past two years crummy.

However, Votto also said that he hasn't been healthy the past two seasons. That's a fact that's hard to ignore when you know that the Reds first baseman had surgery in August in 2022 and it took him several months into the 2023 season before he even returned to the field.

When Joey Votto got back onto the field last season, that, in and of itself, was a triumph. Many fans didn't think he'd return following such an invasive procedure to repair his rotator cuff and his biceps tendon.

So was the version of Votto that Reds fans saw in 2023 the "real" Votto? We can assume the answer is, no. But what Votto put forward last season may have had nothing to do with his injury and was just a product of being a 40-year-old ball player on the backside of his career.

If the Cincinnati Reds believe that Joey Votto was playing "hurt" or not at full capacity, it could be worth running it back one more time. Because if Votto signs elsewhere and proves that he's still got it, the Reds are going to be kicking themselves for not re-signing him.