HEADLINE

Reds decline option on 1B Joey Votto

Field Level Media

November 04, 2023 at 4:25 pm.

The Reds declined to pick up first baseman Joey Votto’s $20 million club option on Saturday and gave the Cincinnati legend a $7 million buyout instead.

Votto, 40, has spent all 17 seasons of his major league career with Cincinnati.

“For 17 seasons, Joey has been the heart of Reds baseball as a Most Valuable Player, All-Star and respected clubhouse leader,” Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall said. “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 offseason, 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.”

A six-time All-Star first baseman and 2010 National League MVP, Votto was a second-round pick by the Reds in 2002.

Votto batted .294 with 2,135 hits, 356 homers and 1,144 RBIs in 2,056 games since his 2007 debut with Cincinnati.

The Toronto native posted a career-worst .202 batting average in 2023 with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs in 65 games, limited by a shoulder injury.