Skip to content

The Reds go too far with Joey Votto’s $225 million deal

Apr 2, 2012, 7:26 PM EDT

Joey Votto AP

Ever since Joey Votto won the 2010 NL MVP award, it seemed like Reds fans were counting down the days to his departure. The Reds weren’t going to pony up the money Votto so clearly deserved, and Votto, for his part, seemed OK with the idea of spending the second half of his career in another city.

So much for that idea.

The Reds on Monday gave Votto the fourth biggest contract in big-league history and the biggest to go to a non-free agent. The reported 10-year, $225 million extension is actually going to be added to his previous deal, which pays him $9.5 million this year and $17 million in 2013. All told, the Reds have committed to him for $251.5 million through 2023, his age-39 season.

It’s an incredible commitment and a giant risk, given the number of years involved. Votto is one of the game’s best players now, but there’s no telling whether he will be five or eight years down the road. On the plus side, he is pretty athletic for a first baseman and he’s not someone who figures to have to finish his career as a DH. Yet there’s certainly little reason to think he’ll be anything close to a $20 million-$23 million player from age 34 on.

Given that they controlled him for two more years anyway, the Reds went too far overboard here. Matt Kemp, a similar talent with a less consistency in his track record, recently signed for $160 million over eight years and he was just one year away from free agency, not two. Ryan Braun‘s odd five-year extension (for 2016-20) with the Brewers was worth $105 million, or $21 million per year. The Reds topped both those deals in years and salary in order to get Votto done.

Of course, this wasn’t just about on-field performance. This was about TV money and having a superstar in the fold as they seek to negotiate their next deal. Locked at in those terms, maybe it was worth it for the Reds to to be so bold. That’s really the only way a 12-year commitment makes sense.

Latest Posts
  1. Coco Crisp is dealing with kidney stones

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:45 PM EDT

    Coco Crisp Coco Crisp

    Base Ba’al has no mercy for Coco Crisp.

  2. Report: Mets willing to “overpay” to acquire Ben Zobrist

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Ben Zobrist Ben Zobrist

    The Mets are VERY interested in Ben Zobrist.

  3. The Mets have discussed, but decided against, calling up prospect Michael Conforto

    Jul 3, 2015, 10:10 PM EDT

    Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena Michael Conforto, Barbaro Arruebarruena

    The Mets are getting desperate for runs, but aren’t ready to rush prospect Michael Conforto just yet.

  4. Miguel Cabrera exits Friday’s game with a calf injury

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera

    Miguel Cabrera suffered a calf injury after a single in the fourth inning on Friday against the Blue Jays.

  5. Patrick Corbin to start for the Diamondbacks on Saturday

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT

    Patrick Corbin Patrick Corbin

    Patrick Corbin will complete his long trek back to the major leagues when he starts against the Rockies on Saturday.

  6. Josh Reddick expressed unhappiness with his playing time in a radio interview, then apologized

    Jul 3, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Josh Reddick Josh Reddick

    The Athletics haven’t used Josh Reddick much against left-handed starters. Reddick isn’t too happy with that, despite his results against southpaws.

  7. Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon to miss two months due to hernia surgery

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jameson Taillon Jameson Taillon

    Jameson Taillon was getting pretty close to returning to action for the Pirates, but an inguinal hernia has knocked him back on the shelf.

  8. Cubs acquire Clayton Richard from the Pirates for cash considerations

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Clayton Richard Clayton Richard

    The Cubs acquired Clayton Richard from the Pirates and he’ll start for the club on Saturday.

  9. The Blue Jays are interested in Jeff Samardzija

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:52 PM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija AP

    Both he and the White Sox have disappointed this year, but he could help a contender.

  10. The Tigers have designated Joba Chamberlain and Tom Gorzelanny for assignment

    Jul 3, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Joba Chamberlain Getty Images

    Chamberlain has posted a 4.09 ERA and an ugly 1.682 WHIP in 30 appearances this year. Gorzelanny has been even worse.

  11. Travis Ishikawa designated for assignment by the Giants. Again.

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:05 PM EDT

    travis ishikawa getty Getty Images

    He’s only had six plate appearances since being recalled in late June.

  12. Yovani Gallardo extended his scoreless innings streak to 29 and a third

    Jul 3, 2015, 9:11 AM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo Getty Images

    He has a 2.56 ERA and a 72/31 K/BB ratio over 102 innings on the season.

  13. The Braves get a walkoff win against Max Scherzer

    Jul 3, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    Cameron Maybin Getty Images

    He wasn’t hit hard, but the Braves hit ’em where they weren’t.

  14. Settling the Scores: Thursday’s results

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:38 AM EDT

    Scott Kazmir Getty Images

    Scott Kazmir dominated the Mariners last night.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Moore (3395)
  2. J. Hamilton (3305)
  3. J. Ellsbury (3115)
  4. M. Cain (2958)
  5. M. Sano (2876)
  1. H. Ramirez (2724)
  2. J. Fernandez (2535)
  3. P. Corbin (2469)
  4. B. Harper (2455)
  5. S. Matz (2370)