For the first time in his career, Joey Votto is now a free agent. On Saturday, the Cincinnati Reds declined to pick up Votto's $20-million club-option for the 2024 season.
Votto had spent his entire professional career with the Reds organization and will now get the opportunity to play elsewhere next season. Votto has said that he plans to play again in 2024.
But Votto's departure wasn't the only roster move the Cincinnati front office executed this weekend. What does the Reds 40-man roster look like with the offseason set to take on a mind of its own?
Joey Votto's option was not the only one the Reds declined
Joey Votto's option was not the only one the Cincinnati Reds declined on Saturday. Catcher Curt Casali will not be back in 2024 either. The veteran backstop had a mutual-option for next season, and instead of forking over $2.5-million, the Reds will pay the $750,000 buyout.
Casali was part of the Reds three-catcher plan heading into last season, but after landing on the IL later in the summer, the 35-year-old never returned to the active roster.
The Reds shored up the catcher's position already this offseason by re-signing Luke Maile. After agreeing to a one-year contract last offseason, Maile performed well in 2023 and earned a one-year contract extension with a club-option for 2025.
Maile will join Tyler Stephenson next season behind the plate for the Reds. After an injury-plagued 2022 campaign, the extra days off from behind the plate certainly helped to keep Stephenson fresh throughout the 2023 season.
However, Stephenson lacked that pop in his bat and was, at times, occupying a spot in the bottom of the Cincinnati Reds batting order. The hope is that Stephenson returns to his 2022 form once next season begins.
Catchers (2): Tyler Stephenson, Luke Maile