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 has no positional versatility

While hard to do, remove the idea that Joey Votto has barely hit above .200. Over the past two seasons, Votto is hitting .204/.317/.394 with a wRC+ of 95 according to FanGraphs. Those are not good numbers, but as was mentioned previously, he'd been playing hurt.

However, no matter how healthy Votto is, he's only able to play one position. Not only that, he's not very good at the one position he plays. Votto is a below-average first baseman at this stage of his career.

The past two seasons, Votto is worth -7 defensive runs saved (DRS) and -12 outs above average (OAA). There's just no way that Votto can occupy a spot other than the team's designated hitter.

But David Bell has never been one to operate with one player who exclusively plays DH. If Jonathan India were to return in 2024, Bell would have two players with virtually no defensive flexibility.

India is locked at second base, but may be ceding playing time to Matt McLain next season and see the lion;s share of his ABs as the team's DH.

So, there are pros to brining Joey Votto back in 2024, but most of those are tied to sentimentality and intangibles. When it comes to the cons, those seem to overwhelmingly point to on-field production. It won't be an easy decision, but it's one that Votto and the Reds will have to make very soon.