Reds wisely invest Joey Votto's would-be 2024 salary into the pitching staff

If the Cincinnati Reds picked up Joey Votto's club-option, he would've been owed $20 million in 2024.
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

For all the Reds fans that have claiming for the better part of a month that Cincinnati's ownership group won't spend any money this offseason, to quote Colorado football coach Deion Sanders, "Do you believe, now?"

The Cincinnati Reds have spent $42 million in less than 24 hours after inking Emilio Pagán to a two-year/$16-million deal and signing Nick Martinez to a two-year/$26-million pact.

While the specifics of the deals are not yet known, the average annual value (AAV) for the two contracts combined comes out to $21 million. That's just $1 million more than Cincinnati would've owed Joey Votto had the team picked up his club-option for 2024.

Reds wisely invest Joey Votto's would-be 2024 salary

The Cincinnati Reds made the decision to part ways with longtime first baseman Joey Votto shortly after the 2023 season came to a close. Rather than pick up Votto's $20-million club-option for the 2024 season, the Reds allowed the former NL MVP to enter free agency.

In doing so, Cincinnati paid Votto's $7-million buyout. There've been whispers about Votto possibly returning to his hometown Toronto Blue Jays, but nothing has materialized quite yet.

Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall made the point following the team's decision that there would not be enough at-bats available in 2024 to justify bringing Votto back to Cincinnati, especially at the $20-million salary.

Votto was paid $25 million last season, but his salary isn't the only one coming off the books at the Reds head into 2024. Mike Moustakas, who was designated for assignment last offseason, still wrestled away $22 million from Cincinnati despite not playing a single game for the Reds in 2023.

So far, it appears as the Cincinnati Reds are wisely rolling over that payroll space into their pitching staff. With the MLB Winter Meetings around the corner and vacancy on the 40-man roster, there's every reason to believe that the Reds are not done adding.