Cincinnati Reds Make Decision On Joey Votto's Future With Club

His place in Cincinnati Reds history is etched in stone. But after 17 seasons, the future Hall of Famer and former MVP Joey Votto is no longer a Red. The team has officially declined his $20M club option. He is now, at the age of 40, a free agent for the first time.

The Reds posted a statement reading:

“For 17 seasons, Joey has been the heart of Reds baseball as a Most Valuable Player, All-Star and respected clubhouse leader. His contributions to our team and his extraordinary generosity toward those in need, throughout our region and beyond, cannot be measured. 

"At this point of the off-season, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves. He forever will be part of the Reds’ family, and at the appropriate time we will thank and honor him as one of the greatest baseball players of this or any generation.” 

Votto has said he still believes he can be a full-time player and wants to play "at least one more year". This past season, battling injuries, he hit .202 in 65 games, with a .747 OPS and 14 HR. 

The Toronto-area-born Votto would certainly make a nice bat off the bench and part-time first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, who are set to move on from Brandon Belt who held that position in 2023. 

It would be nice to see one of the great hitters of this past generation (we're talking Votto, not Belt!) go out on his own terms.

In 17 years, he has a .294 average, a .409 on-base, a .920 OPS, an OPS+ of 144, and 356 home runs.

Photo: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports