Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reflecting back on the Phillips and Votto extensions

Votto is slated to remain in Cincinnati
for the next decade
by: Chase Fitzgerald
Staff Writer

All the talk before the season on how the Reds were going to go on without Joey Votto meant nothing on April 2nd when Joey Votto signed the longest deal in baseball history for 12 years and for the price of 251.5 million dollars to remain a Red for his entire (presumably) career. This may have been the single-happiest I’ve been from something to do with sports and I’m still in shock that we are lucky enough to have the greatest baseball player on the planet be with us for 12 more years. This allows the Reds to build around Votto with other great players and it is very nice to know that we’ll never have to worry about first base for years to come.

After getting over my initial excitement I started to worry. Votto probably won’t be the same player he is now when he is 38 yet we will be paying him 20+ million dollars (Debby Downer I know). But this year, Votto showed me something. After he got back from his injury and his power was just about gone, he was still the best player on the Reds. He still hit over .300 and his OBP was over .500 which I would take for a number 3 hitter any day of the week. That showed me that he doesn’t need power to succeed and he will still be a great hitter when he is 38. He led the NL in walks despite missing one-third of the season and he still led the league in OBP despite having to add 27 at-bats for him to qualify. When it’s all said and done, I think Votto will be known as one of the greatest players of all time and will be known as pretty much a God in Cincinnati.

The only non-overjoyed man in Cincinnati when that Votto extension was signed was Brandon Phillips. He had been negotiating with the Reds on an extension for a while before the Votto extension yet he didn’t have anything to show for it and I understand why he was angry. He wanted to be a Cincinnati Red for the rest of his career and with the Reds spending over 250 million dollars on Votto, that fantasy wasn’t looking good. But, apparently the Reds just discovered treasure or something and they had more than enough money to extend Phillips. He signed a 6-year, 72.5 million dollar contract and even though that’s a little long for my taste, I’m still extremely happy. We may have the best second baseman and first baseman on our team for the next 6 years. As Walt Jocketty said: "I think this puts us in a pretty good position to build around two premier players on the everyday side, and with some of the pitchers we have to be a contending club for years to come, hopefully."

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