“It would be tough for a [top] position player to sign for five years. No matter how fond a person is of the city, players have to maximize the number of years,” says Joey Votto of the Reds, after having once again been insufferably asked about the possibility of him going to the Jays once he hits free agency after the 2013 season– y’know, assuming he doesn’t ink an extension with Cincinnati prior to that, or get traded and extend wherever he lands.
The quote comes from Jon Heyman’s latest for CBS Sports, with the explanation that “if the Blue Jays stick to their five-year maximum policy for player contracts, they can forget luring Reds superstar Joey Votto back home to Toronto when he’s a free agent.”
Neither Heyman nor Votto is wrong, it’s just… yeah, we know.
Clearly the Jays aren’t getting any sort of major free agent with the ridiculous self-imposed handcuffing of their inflexible five-year max policy. Paul Beeston has told us that the club held to this principle in previous negotiations– as in, with Jose Bautista– so, unless we want to piss off Jose, we’d better keep our mouths shut.
And while we’re at it, I guess we should all just forget that Bautista was coming off a crazy outlier season, and still had a year of team control left, when he signed his extension, and that going beyond five guaranteed years with him probably wasn’t going to happen, ridiculous self-imposed rule or not.
Of course, to get all that upset about the rule means that you have to believe that it actually exists and wasn’t just the most convenient PR cover the Jays could find to hide behind when fans started going apeshit over their lack of spending this off-season. I tend to think there will come a time to break the ridiculous rule, and they’ll figure out how to explain it away when that happens.
Perhaps even more ridiculous than the rule itself, though, is the constant baiting of Joey Votto with questions about what he’s going to do as a free agent, two whole goddamn seasons from now. He tells Heyman that he’s proud to play for the Reds and that he definitely would like to stay.
What the hell else is he going to say?
Are we seriously in for two more years of this?
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