Joey Votto Reveals Decision On His Playing Future

When the season came to an end for the Cincinnati Reds, Joey Votto got a long, loud standing ovation from the fans. After all, it was thought it might have been his final appearance in major leagues. He hadn't yet decided whether he'd come back to play in Season #18. But now, he's revealed that he does indeed want to give it one more go.

"I want to play least one more year," Votto announced on the Dan Patrick Show. 

The Reds hold a $20M team option on the final year of their legendary first baseman's contract in 2024, but it also comes with a $7M buyout, which is probably the way they're leaning. 

In that case, would Votto be returning to the Reds? It sounds like it's all up to them. The 40-year-old says he'd want to return to Cincinnati and play for the only team he's ever known in the big leagues, but added that he is open to playing for another team as well if the Reds aren't interested. 

Votto has struggled with injuries, and performance, the past couple of years, playing  only 65 games this season due to shoulder surgery last year to repair a torn rotator cuff and a torn biceps. That also limited him to 91 games in 2022. 

"The last couple of years were crummy. I wasn't healthy, so, it's not the taste I wanna leave in my mouth."

When he was on the field, his numbers were very un-Votto-like, batting .203 over the past two seasons, with an OPS+ in the low 90s. For his 17-year career, the Toronto-born Votto has a .294 mark with a robust OPS+ of 144. 

The ball is now in the Reds' court.