Sunday, October 9, 2011

Could the Reds Really Trade Joey Votto?

Big decisions have to be made by the Reds soon, including
what to do with both Joey Votto & Yonder Alonso
You know his story. Taken in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the Reds, Joey Votto has emerged as one of the elite players in the game today. He's coming off back-to-back seasons where he was dubbed an All-Star including one year removed from a league MVP honor. So why would the franchise even think about trading him? The answer ultimately comes down to money.

The Toronto native is set to see his salary double over the course of the next seasons. At 28-years old, Votto is slated to make $9.5 million in 2012 and a whopping $17 million in 2013 -- a huge increase from the $525,000 and $5.5 million he collected in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

If Cincinnati should keep him through the '13 campaign, his salary alone would represent around 30% of the team's already mediocre payroll. And should the club attempt to re-sign him after that year the asking price for a player of his caliber would look to be something to the tune of $22-27 million a year.

Said one NL executive on the situation, "They're not going to be out there shopping him, like they're going to dump him. But they will listen, I don't think they think they can keep him."

And as much as it may pain Reds fans to admit it, this executive is probably right.

Even the well-informed Buster Olney of ESPN hinted at the possibility on Saturday with this tweet: "Rival executives getting signals that the Reds won't shop Joey Votto -- but that they are fully prepared to listen to offers."

So although the notion of trading the 5-year veteran is not yet a done deal, it's a very likely scenario -- especially as the club draws nearer to 2013.

The organization already possesses a replacement at first base in the personnel of Yonder Alonso, and still continues to vie for another top-of-the-line starter to go along with Johnny Cueto. Some of the potential trade partners for Votto may include Seattle, Toronto, Florida, San Francisco, Chicago or either of the Los Angeles franchises.

While trading away an established superstar such as Votto makes no sense from a baseball standpoint -- it's important to remember the business side of this league. And from a business decision it's not only a necessity for the Redlegs, but a move that just makes sense.

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