The Reds have declined to exercise Votto’s club option, MLB.com reported on Friday, saying, “It appears that Votto’s time in Cincinnati has come to an end.”
Votto is a Cincinnati franchise star who batted .294 (7252-for-2135) with 356 home runs, 1144 RBI, 1171 runs scored, 80 doubles and a .920 OPS in 2056 games over 17 major league seasons (2007-2023). He joined Cincinnati in the second round (44th overall) of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft and has never left the team since.토토사이트
The 2010 National League MVP, Votto has a long list of accolades to his credit, including six All-Star appearances (2010-2013, 2017-2018) and a Gold Glove in 2011. In 2013, he and Shin-Soo Choo (who was playing for Cincinnati that year) split the National League’s 1-2 slugging percentage (.435 for Votto, .423 for Choo). During Player’s Weekend in 2017, when players wore nicknames on their jerseys instead of their names, Shin-Soo Choo wore TOKKI1 and Votto wore TOKKI2. The nickname comes from Votto’s compliment to Shin-soo Choo, who said, “I can’t catch you like a rabbit that can’t catch up no matter how fast you run.”
Votto, who has continued his career in Cincinnati even after Shin-Soo Choo returned to South Korea from the major leagues, has seen his numbers decline recently. Last year, he batted just 2-for-5 (66-for-322) with 11 homers, 41 RBIs, and a .689 OPS in 91 games, and this year he’s been a little less impressive, going 2-for-2 (42-for-208) with 14 homers, 38 RBIs, and a .747 OPS in 65 games.
Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million extension with Cincinnati in 2012. When this year’s season ended, so did Votto’s 10-year deal. Cincinnati would have had to exercise a $20 million team option to keep Votto for another year, but the Reds declined to pay the 40-year-old, whose decline was already evident, a $7 million buyout.
“Given our direction, our roster, his playing time, and how it impacts us moving forward, we felt it was the right decision not to exercise his club option,” Cincinnati President of Baseball Operations Nick Kroll said of the decision.
After winning 82 games and missing the postseason by two games this season, Cincinnati had glimmers of hope for next season as its young players showed promise. According to MLB.com, “Cincinnati’s rebuilding program has produced several young players, including Eli DeLacruz, Matt McLain, Noelby Marte, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Alongside them, they have mainstays like Jonathan India. Encarnacion-Strand and Steer are our first basemen.”
Kroll emphasized that financial concerns were not the deciding factor in the decision not to exercise Votto’s option. “We don’t have a spot for Votto right now,” Kroll said. “We don’t have an at-bat for him. We need to get somebody else on base. That’s why we made this decision.”
MLB.com reports, “As a first-time free agent, Votto is free to negotiate with any of the other 29 teams, but if he can reach an agreement with Cincinnati, he will remain in Cincinnati. However, that doesn’t seem likely at this point.”