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Reds prepared to listen to trade offers for Joey Votto

Oct 8, 2011, 8:31 PM EDT

votto getty Getty Images

An intriguing report from ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Rival executives getting signals that the Reds won’t shop Joey Votto — but that they are fully prepared to listen to offers.

Votto is owed a bargain $9.5 million salary in 2012, but that number jumps sharply to $17 million in 2013 and the Canadian-born first baseman will be a free agent heading into 2014. If the Reds are already resigned to the fact that they won’t be able to afford a long-term extension, they might as well get max value for Votto before he gets a whiff of the open market.

Votto batted .309 with a .947 OPS, 29 home runs and 103 RBI in 161 games this season. He posted a 1.024 OPS, 37 home runs and 113 RBI over 150 games in 2010 to earn National League MVP honors.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    If Olney is right for a change, the Jays will be all over this. Votto is from Toronto and would provide superb protection for Bautista. The Jays have enough prospects that they could put together a very nice package in exchange for Votto.

    • royalsfaninfargo - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:19 PM

      Key sentence: If Olney is right for a change.

    • cmb79 - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM

      I’m not sure the Jays would want to empty a pretty loaded cupboard of talent, though.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        I won’t even attempt to spell the GM’s name, but AA has proven himself to be a pretty slick trader. Maybe a ‘trade & extend’ type deal would work for them so it wouldn’t seem like a short-term upgrade. As a Yankee fan, I have to admit I hope we don’t have to see Joeyx2 in a lineup anytime soon.

      • gabrielthursday - Oct 9, 2011 at 6:51 AM

        It’s unlikely that the Jays overpay for a first baseman, which seems to be the trend these days, but they could present an interesting package of Ricky Romero and a mid-level prospect or two.

    • metalhead65 - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:27 PM

      reds fans are sick of prospects who will never see the field under dusty should they be good enough to make the big leagues. no if they are going to trade their best and one the best players in the game it better be for a number one king felix type starting pitcher. get someone like that to go along with Cueto,Leake, and Bailey and possibly Chapman and the reds might be competitive next year. is there anybody outside of dusty and the reds brass that think volquez will ever be a frontline starter? if so please make the reds an offer!

    • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      makes sense, Canadian – unfortunately, the Yankees will also come a knockin” with Montero and a pitcher or two. Because he’d have to play the field in the NL perhaps the Jays have a better shot, though.

  2. pastortodd78 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    I think this won’t heat up until the Fielder/Pujols signings are done. Also are the Phillies in play for a 1B now after Howard’s injury last night. If it is an Achilles, those take time to come back from. Hope he comes back healthy soon. At any rate the first baseman market should be good. Pujols, Fielder, Votto available for trade, D.Lee, & Carlos Pena.

    • paperlions - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:56 PM

      Doubt it.

      First, they can’t afford to give up the prospects…with the money committed already to so few guys…they need all the cheap talent they can gather to fill out the roster.

      Second, Howard is only going to miss 1 year at most…so they only need a 1 yr stop-gap fill in. The price in money and prospects will be too high for them to go after Votto…especially considering the $125M commitment to Howard over the next 5 years.

      I’m glad the Cardinals already re-signed Berkman…he’s exactly the kind of player Philly should be looking to sign for a 1 yr deal.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM

      Phillies won’t make a play for Votto. It is going to require a hell of a package and the Phillies won’t want to further deplete the farm system. Furthermore, Howard will be back in 2013 at the latest, then what? Votto has bitched about changing positions this year and Howard can only play first. It is way more likely that the Phillies go after Nick Swisher, assuming his option is declined. He can play first and corner outfield. That way some combination of Mayberry Jr, Swisher, and Brown can be used.

      • CliffC - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        Swishers option is not going to be declined

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        Well, there you have it. That option is eliminated. So, I will ammend by sentence to “Nick Swisher type player.”

      • brianbowman16 - Oct 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

        The yankees don’t have a rep of being frugal, but i think even they would have a hard time paying swisher almost 10.5 for a year

  3. brownsbraves11 - Oct 8, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    I wouldn’t mind a deal like this for the Braves. We could include Freeman in the deal somewhere and give ourselves an every day, legitimate 3-hole hitter and a new face of the franchise.

    • xmatt0926x - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:28 PM

      Braves aren’t giving up cheap talent in Freeman for a $17 million guy.

      • bloogart7 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        Fortunately, the Reds aren’t giving up one of the 2 best hitters in the National League for a guy who’s 1/3 as good either. Hooray for unspeakably stupid fan trade proposals!

  4. yournuts - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:02 PM

    How about the Giants trading Matt Cain for Votto. He would be a welcome addition in San Francisco.

    • granted42 - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:58 PM

      Why would the Reds want this deal? Cain makes $15mil in 2012, then becomes a free agent. The Giants already have Huff, Belt, and Pill to play First Base, Votto has too many syllables.

  5. contraryguy - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    at some point Castellini will have to decide whether he wants to have a team that wins, or a team that is stuck on ‘potential’… it won’t necessarily take a Votto trade to get one decent starter, which may have been all the Reds needed this year. If Votto is traded before April 2012 it feels too much like giving up., unless they get a Bautista in return (who would probably hit 60 out of GABP).

    • paperlions - Oct 8, 2011 at 9:59 PM

      Bautista isn’t going anywhere. Plus, the Reds are interested in trading Votto for financial reasons, they’ll be looking for cheap young talent in return….Bautista is already signed to an expensive contract.

      The market for Votto will probably be small, in part because most teams only want to pay for a guy once…paying in talent and then $$ is just too steep a price to interest most teams.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      I suppose that depends on how good they think Yonder Alonzo is. In the NL they can’t play both guys, so it makes sense to consider it while Votto’s stock is so high

    • metalhead65 - Oct 8, 2011 at 11:36 PM

      you would think batista would hit that many for the reds but under dusty he would be platooned so that will never happen. you say that is not logical? this is baker we are talking about so forget logic,he does not know what that means. who else will not play somebody in the next game after they hit 3 homers in a game? or if they have 3 hits in a game? only dusty of course. who else would send a guy with mono out to get pounded every start? a guy so tired and weak he only pitches but can do none of the other things pitchers do on their days off? that again would be dusty.this season proved that they won last year in spite of him not because of him.guys we saw how good a manager he was when guys who had career years last year came down to earth this year. instead of playing a young with potential like a Heisey he sticks with a .120 hitting gomes in left field,then goes with fred lewis after they get rid of much sense does that make?

      • contraryguy - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:33 PM

        I believe Dusty and staff are signed thru 2012. I’m no more of a fan of him than you are, or a fan of accumulating prospects while never driving to really WIN. I mean for god’s sake, the Bengals have been to the playoffs more in the last 10 years than the Reds. We know Dusty can wreck a team, and hopefully next year is his last in Cincy.

        But as for Votto, I don’t think it’s a stretch to mention big names like Bautista when talking of a trade here; if Walt Jocketty wants to live up to his rep, he’d better not trade Joey for anything except an established guy (pitcher) who can help the Reds WIN now.

        is Alonso a better prospect than Joey is a player? Probably not. He reminds me too much of guys like Nick Johnson (who I saw on the minor league field here in CBus this year). Good bat, unproven game.

  6. sfchamps2010 - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:04 AM

    WHY WHY WHY!!!! If this is true the Reds management are a bunch of stupid morons! If they ever want another WS title sign him! Give him what ever he wants!!! If not send him to SF we’ll take em!!

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      Why? Because Votto has made it clear to everyone that he is going to test FA and go to the highest bidder….and there is no way to know how much someone will give you until they can offer it.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      They are attempting to maximize is value now. It is actually a smart move by Reds management. They know that they won’t be able to afford the mammoth contract is is going to get, so why not put him out on the market now and get cheap, young talent in return. Way better than losing him for a couple draft picks.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:30 AM

        Exactly. Remember my “lightning in a bottle” comment everyone hated…this is a perfect instance. A team like the Reds can not amass talent over the course of years, that talent has to mature all at the same time for them to have a 2-3 yr run before they start losing those guys to FA or have to trade them to get something in return when they become too expensive in arbitration. Under the current MLB economic structure, the Reds (and other teams with similar levels of payroll) are never going to be able to afford to keep multiple young studs once they hit FA.

        Yay parity. When it is a foregone conclusion for 2/3 of the teams in the league that they will lose most of the stars they develop to FA….that is NOT parity.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        Agreed PL…people mistake the concept of parity with having different World Series winners in the like. The different World Series winners is more of a function of the playoff structure than parity. Your lightning in a bottle comment is actually pretty spot on. I don’t remember when you made it but am surprised it was recieved with hate.

      • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        Because people like to have hope and think life is fair and all that despite all evidence that it is not….plus, most people have huge blind spots for anything they have passion for….just because you love something does not mean it is perfect. MLB has a huge economic problem, and if it isn’t fixed fairly soon, it would not be surprising to see teams start to move a lot or be contracted….because no one is going to continue to spend money to follow a perennial loser…they will for a while, but everyone has their limits.

        Also, most people can not separate their love of baseball from MLB…attacking MLB is like attacking baseball to them….I love baseball just how it is….MLB, on the other hand, could use some tweaks if they want to actually have 30 viable fan bases.

  7. goldensombrero3000 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    Yonder Alonso is the next Pujols. ’nuff said.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Minus the athleticism and stellar fielding abilities?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      And isn’t Alonso around 25? I think Albert came up and was ridiculous at 21.

  8. cintiphil - Oct 9, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    This is just a ploy between the Reds and Cards management. they are trying to convenence the rest of baseball that there is no market for Albert’s high pay demands and he had better sign with the birds for a smaller contract soon. They had better never get rid of Joey or there will be a revolt in Cinti by the fans.

    By the way, I can play the field better than Alonso.

    • metalhead65 - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:01 AM

      can we see alonzo play more than a handful of games before we decide he can’t play the field? he only started like 30 games in left field before he was called up to the reds but he misplays 1 fly ball at wrigley and he is awful? had dusty put him out there everyday let him learn he might already be an average fielder to go along with his bat. the guy does have some athletic ability as he started out as a 3rd baseman who moved to 1st because the guy who starts for the twins was playing and couldn’t/didn’t want to make the switch so he moved over. I am not against trading Votto I just want a bonafide ace in return. as I stated before the last thing the reds need is to get another volquez in return. and will you people stop making excuses for the that guy?the surgery was 2 years ago so is he setting the longest recovery time record or something? strassberg had the same surgery and came back a year later this sept . and did not miss a beat for the nationals. hamilton has been injured to but when he is not he is a mvp player where as volquez just sucks when he is not on dl.

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