The Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday signed top first base prospect Joey Votto to a new one-year contract for 2008.
Votto, a Toronto native, hit .321 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 24 games for the Reds last season. In 133 games for Class AAA Louisville, Votto hit .294 with 22 home runs and 92 RBI en route to Rookie of the Year honors in the International League.
The 24-year-old is now being tabbed to beat Scott Hatteberg in the battle for first base during Spring Training.
The Reds also signed a handful of other players to one-year deals, including pitchers Richie Gardner, Daryl Thompson, Tyler Pelland and Sergio Valenzuela, along with C Craig Tatum, CF Chris Dickerson, C Ryan Hanigan, and SS Paul Janish.