The Cincinnati Reds announced today that they have decided not to exercise Votto’s $20 million ($26.2 million) team option for the 2024 season. In lieu of exercising the team option, the club will pay Votto a $7 million buyout per his contract.굿모닝토토
“Given our roster, playing time, and how it impacts us going forward, we felt it made the most sense to not exercise Votto’s team option,” Cincinnati president of operations Nick Kroll said in explaining the decision. Kroll continued, “There is no place for Votto on the team right now. We need to give other players a chance to get at-bats.”
Votto is a one-club man who joined Cincinnati as a second-round pick in the 2002 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft. He made his big league debut in 2007 and quickly became one of Cincinnati’s biggest stars. In 2056 career games, he batted .294 with 2135 hits, 356 home runs, 1144 RBI, 1171 runs scored, and 80 stolen bases. Most notably, in 2010, he hit 36 home runs and 113 RBIs and won the National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
Votto’s strength was first and foremost his vision. If Votto didn’t hit it, it was a ball, and he formed a formidable “running duo” with Shin-Soo Choo, who came to Cincinnati via trade in 2013. The two were so close that they nicknamed each other TOKKI 1 (Shin-Soo Choo) and TOKKI 2 (Votto) on their jerseys.
Votto’s perfect career couldn’t last forever. In 2019, his performance started to decline, and in 2020, he had his worst year with a .227 batting average and eight home runs. He bounced back in 2021 with a .266 average with 36 home runs, 99 RBIs, a .375 OPS, and a .563 slugging percentage, but it didn’t last long. He bounced back last year with a .205 average and 11 home runs, and this year wasn’t much different with a .202 average and 14 home runs. Eventually, with his contract up, Cincinnati decided to part ways with Votto.
However, it doesn’t appear to be retirement. “I want to play at least one more year,” Votto said on a radio show last week.