With Joey Votto now a free agent, this pitcher is now the longest-tenured Reds player

The Joey Votto era is officially over in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds did what most fans expected and declined Joey Votto's $20-million club-option for the 2024 season.

Instead, the Reds will now pay Votto's $7-million buyout, making the 40-year-old a free agent for the first time in his career.

There's always the chance that Cincinnati's front office and Votto could renegotiate a new deal, but at the moment, he's no longer a member of the Reds organization. So who's the longest-tenured player on the Reds roster?

With Joey Votto gone, Lucas Sims is now the longest-tenured Reds player

Joey Votto was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2002 and had been part of the big league club since 2007. Barring a renegotiated deal this winter, Votto's time with the club has come to an end.

That means that Lucas Sims is now the longest-tenured player on the Reds roster. Sims was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2012, but was part of a trade in 2018.

Sims, along with former reliever Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker, landed in Cincinnati after the Reds sent former outfielder Adam Duvall to the Braves.

Lucas Sims had been a starter in the Atlanta organization, and while the right-hander was given a couple opportunities as a starter, he's spent much of his Reds career coming out of the bullpen.

For his career in a Reds uniform, Sims is 18-7 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.150 WHIP. The 29-year-old overcame a devestating back injury in 2022 and returned to the bump this past season. Sims posted a 3.10 ERA with 72 punch outs in 61 innings of work.

Lucas Sims was one of manager David Bell's most reliable relievers in 2023, and the Reds skipper will undoubtedly need the veteran to lead the charge for the Reds bullpen once again in 2024.

Sims has made 167 career appearances as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. That's only 1,889 behind Joey Votto's 2,056 career games in a Reds uniform.