UPDATE: Joey Votto and the Reds have agreed to a ten-year contract extension worth $225 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

That sound you hear is the sound of 35 million hearts breaking across Canada. MLB Trade Rumors reports the Cincinnati Reds and all-world first baseman Joey Votto are nearing a long-term contract extension. The terms are not known at this time but MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith suggest the deal could exceed $200 million in total value.

Wow. (Update: Votto confirms the deal but notes it isn’t quite done. Good night, sweet prince.)

Joey Votto previously signed away his arbitration years to the Reds ahead of last season, inking a three-year, $38 million dollar deal, paying him $11.5 million this season and $19 million for 2013. The 2010 MVP was set to hit free agency at age 30, where a massive deal awaited him.

Considering the huge sums awarded to Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, Votto and his agent were surely licking their chops. As Nicholson-Smith notes on MLBTR, the recent tsunami of cash that washed former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt only gave the first baseman a little more leverage.

There was much written about the Reds future plans – if the team loaded up this past off-season in an attempt to make a World Series run before losing their best player to free agency. The Reds, playing in one of the smallest markets in baseball, couldn’t possibly commit the kind of cash a player like Votto commands, could they?

If the MLBTR report is correct and Votto remains in Cincinnati for the long haul, expect to hear about how great a deal this is “for baseball.” Like the Joe Mauer deal that every pundit and columnists fell over themselves to praise, this is a good deal for Joey Votto and a great commitment by the Reds to a homegrown talent. That is it.

The other, unavoidable, angle to this story involves the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays and their gaping crevice at first base seemed like an ideal landing place for Votto, had he opted to leave the Natty. The hometown stud returns to the nest as the emergent collection of cheap talent rises to meet the level of their competition. But it does not appear to be the case.

The Reds cleared out their farm system to acquire pitchers Mat Latos and Sean Marshall, signaling a renewed commitment to winning right now. With Votto in place for what we assume is a minimum of 8 more years, the Reds and their young core are ready to take on the Cardinals and Brewers, both now and in the future.

Joey Votto is one of the game’s very best players and will be paid as such for the rest of his career. If that career begins and ends in Cincinnati, good for them. Players like Votto don’t come along too often, if you can lock him up in a deal that makes sense for both the player and your business, go nuts.

Comments (28)

  1. Shocked… I am not.

  2. Yeah, yeah, April Fools!

    … Wait, what? That was yesterday?

  3. first in on: maybe this is just AA’s way of circumventing Beeston’s 5-year contract policy. snider for votto- straight up trade HERE WE COME!

    /unseriousness.

  4. This gives me a Maple softy…

  5. Selfish Votto…

  6. take away his Canadianness, and it’s no different from the Jays passing on Fielder. same result.

    • Except for this enormous detail: Votto isn’t a free agent.

    • Jays didn’t really pass on Votto, though.

      Which means AA is off the hook with all those fans that would have been complaining about the fact that he didn’t get into the mix to get Votto.

      Unless, those same fans are just going to complain about the fact that AA didn’t pursue hard enough for a trade for Votto. So, maybe not.

      Either way, should we fly the flag half-mass for the rest of the day or what?

  7. well aa must be relieved, he won’t need to come up with ways to make it look like they would be interested in signing him now

  8. …and in the distance was heard the sound of Adam Lind’s back barking….

  9. so a team that has outdrawn toronto in only 2 out of the last 7 years at the gate in their stadium that is less than 10 years old can spend that on a player, but the jays need to draw even more fans before they can get a guy like fielder? i’m not saying they should have paid fielder what he got, i’m just saying they could have.

    • It’s also important to note Votto was RESIGNED instead of a Free Agent. It’ll be interesting to see what AA does when he needs pay to retain a high-priced player going into FA.

      • Kinda like Bautista? Or one where they’re forced into overpaying for a high-priced player?

        • Bautista, like in most circumstances, seem more like the anomaly than anything. I think the better scenario to possibly explore is Lawrie.

          In the event that he does perform to potential, it will be interesting to see the contract he gets heading into his final years of control.

          • the guy it might happen with is snider if he ever gets another shot, he’s the most likely to actually be a shot at free agency, i would put rasmus after that if he also can get it turned around, at least he gets a chance

            lawrie won’t be seeing free agency for a very long time, if he has a decent april they’ll probably be extending him, especially if the team doesn’t have a good record going into may

  10. You should save this article and replace Votto with Cain, Greinke, and Hamels as needed. I imagine at least 2 of them will sign extensions with their current club. 2013 might be a weak free agent group.

    • Indeed. Then there is the Dodgers waiting to make like the Yankees and snap the rest up.

      Jays need to prove they can win with this bunch before players are willing to sign imo.

  11. Nice. This paves the way for Bautista’s long-term future at 1B, creating room for our plethora of young talented outfielders.

  12. Good for Votto, good for the Jays

  13. i guess this means that clayton kershaw is going to give the jays the hometown discount now…because his first and last name have the same number of letters as toronto does. right?

  14. Bright side: Every team that ever won the World Series did it without Joey Votto. It’s possible!

  15. Do fans of any other team give a rat’s ass where their players are born?

  16. Rogers are such cheap fucks

  17. Holy crap. 10 years, 225 million. Wow.

  18. 10 years $225 millon dollars is what the going rate for players of Votto’s ilk go for. I am not surprised by this at all. I am glad the Reds stepped forward and did this. This will stop all this silly Votto to Toronto talk.

    • Big overpay by the Reds on this one imo. This is going to be a franchise killer after year 5. He’s going to have to generate Pujols like WAR numbers in those first 5 years to create enough surplus to cover for the last 5. If he does, it’s probably not going to be enough to cover such a decline in the last couple of years. I could see doing 8 but adding 2 more years? Bit extreme for a mid to small market team. It’s not like they have Angels or even Detroit type money. Reds certainly have to hope Votto is the second coming of Pujols.

  19. I think Halladay will be a free agent in two years. Maybe we’ll go after that guy instead.

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