GM Walt Jocketty felt the need to go on the record:

“We haven’t talked about it. I wish that people would stop writing it,” Jocketty said. “Why would we trade one of the best players in the game? We’re trying to win.”

Believe him if you want. I would love to see Votto finish his career in Cincinnati, but the Reds are going to have some hard decisions to make as he approaches free agency.

Of course, I don’t think the Reds will trade Votto in 2012, at any rate. No reason to jump the gun; if he isn’t going to sign an extension with Cincinnati, though, the Reds are going to have to explore their options.

That said, I’m not sure why anyone would take anything Jocketty says publicly at face value. He could be telling the truth, or he could be lying. And guess what? I don’t care. Jocketty’s job can be performed more effectively, often, by playing his cards close to the vest. If a little misdirection in his public comments helps him do his job, more power to him.