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Votto’s contract details paint a scary picture for Reds fans

Jan 19, 2011, 11:54 AM EDT

joey-votto-head-scratch

The Reds inked first baseman Joey Votto to a three-year, $38 million contract extension on Sunday, buying out all three of his arbitration-eligible seasons.  Now John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the financial breakdown of the deal.

Votto will earn a $5 million salary in 2011, a $9.5 million salary in 2012 and a $17 million salary in 2013.

The Reds also gave Votto a $6 million signing bonus, but they spread it out over the next four years due to budgetary concerns.  He got $2.5 million when he signed the dotted line last weekend, he will get $1.5 million in 2012 and a late $2 million payment in 2014.

Why the late payment on the signing bonus?  According to Fay, the Reds have determined they can not afford to pay $20 million per season — or even $19 million per season — to one player and still remain competitive.  That almost certainly means that Votto will leave Cincinnati when he becomes a free agent after the 2013 season.

Unless, of course, things change and the Reds find a new way to pump revenue into the club.  With a solid group of young players, they should be good for the next several years.  Maybe the fans will begin to pack Great American Ballpark every night and maybe jerseys will begin flying off the shelves.  But there is no reason to think that will happen.  Last year, when Cincy captured its first National League Central title since 1995, the club finished 20th in overall attendance with an average of 25,438 fans per game.

They’ll have to do better.

  1. Russell Wight - Jan 19, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    It certainly is too early to tell, but I would have a hard time seeing Votto in a large market like New York. He does not seem to enjoy the attention and media coverage, which is definitely less in Cincinnati.

  2. Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Might want to sit the idiot down and tell him to stop being an asshole and sign autographs for kids no matter whose jersey or cap they’re wearing. I know that children are horrible, but it just looks bad.

  3. apbaguy - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM

    Attendance lags success. In Oakland, when the A’s were good (so long ago, hard to remember, images are dim), The A’s attendance rose slowly from about 15,000 per game in the mid ’90’s to around 25,000 in the early 2000’s, and began to fall away as they embraced their losing tradition in the mid 2000’s. It’s back down to 15,000 again. It fell away faster than it rose, helped because the Managing Partner told all the fans the team was leaving, which severed the emotional bond for many. Cincy won’t have that problem, but with the Ohio economy still not perking for the middle class, attendance growth may not keep up with expectations despite a competitive team.

    • Old Gator - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      That’s incredible news. I have to rethink my entire paradigm now.

  4. icanspeel - Jan 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I think I’d be more worried about him getting injured or just not being as good come 2013 than if they can afford him or not. His value is probably at his highest now and they have him locked for 3 years.

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Jan 19, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    It only means that he will be the subject of HUGE trade rumors in July 2012 because the “Reds can’t afford him in 2013 and stand to lose him afterwards” or some rhetoric like that

  6. metalhead65 - Jan 20, 2011 at 6:52 AM

    I guess I missed the part where I am suppose to feel sorry for billionaire owners who refuse to spend any of their billions on the teams they purchase. I hate that small market excuse when the owner refuses to dip into his account to pay what it takes to run a team.

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