Reds Offer $7M Buyout, Concluding Joey Votto’s Illustrious Career with Cincinnati

The fabric of Cincinnati Reds’ baseball, Joey Votto, will venture into free agency next season, as the Reds opted not to pick up his $20 million option for 2024, thus closing the chapter on the storied tenure of the franchise cornerstone.

Votto, who has been a one-franchise man throughout his illustrious two-decade-long career, finds himself at a crossroads. The Reds, with whom he’s become synonymous, chose to execute a $7 million buyout, closing out the monumental 10-year, $225 million contract extension he inked back in 2012. As Votto approaches his 40th birthday, this pivot by the Reds marks a significant shift in their roster strategy.

The Canadian-born Votto, a figure woven into the Reds’ lore, only stepped onto the field last season in September after a lengthy 10-month recovery from a shoulder injury. Despite the setback and his age, Votto’s passion for the game burns fiercely. His aspirations to don cleats for the 2023 season were clear, but it will now have to be in a uniform other than the Reds’ — a first in his professional career.

Nick Krall, the Reds’ president, paid homage to Votto’s profound impact: “For 17 seasons, Joey has been the heart of Reds baseball — not just as an MVP and an All-Star but as a revered leader both on the field and within our community. His legacy extends far beyond the stats and into the very fabric of our region, where his acts of generosity have made indelible marks.”

The departure of Votto is momentous, etching his name beside the likes of Dave Concepcion, Barry Larkin, Bid McPhee, and Johnny Bench — all icons who have left their mark in the annals of the Reds’ history. Selected in the second round of the 2002 MLB draft by the Reds, Votto has been instrumental in propelling the team to four postseason appearances. The esteemed first baseman holds the franchise record for walks at 1,365 and ranks second in both home runs and doubles.

In the 2023 season, albeit limited to 65 games, Votto’s leadership was a beacon for the younger cadre striving to secure a playoff position. His performance, characterized by a .202 batting average, .747 on-base plus slugging (OPS), 14 home runs, and 38 runs batted in (RBI), was a testament to his enduring capability and presence in the batter’s box.

As the Reds pivot towards a future sculpted by fresh talent, Votto’s legacy as a paragon of perseverance and professionalism will continue to echo through the halls of the Great American Ball Park. His next steps will be watched with keen interest as he brings his esteemed track record and veteran leadership to a new chapter in Major League Baseball.

Reds Offer $7M Buyout, C
Reds Offer $7M Buyout, C

For Cincinnati and baseball fans alike, Joey Votto’s free agency represents not just the end of an era but the beginning of a new narrative in a career defined by resilience, record-breaking, and reverence for the game.

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