From Jon Heyman at

One obvious reason Votto, who hit .309 with 29 home runs, 110 RBI and a league-leading .415 on-base percentage in 2011, is hoping Pujols and Fielder show they are worthy of those mega deals is that he hopes to follow their lead. That goes for the contract. But it doesn’t necessarily mean Votto sees himself leaving Cincinnati. Although he said the Reds haven’t approached him yet about a new deal, his heart seems to be in Cincinnati.

“I’m very proud I’m with the Reds,” Votto said at one point.

When asked if he’d like to stay, he answered, “I definitely do.”

Ok. Does this give you hope or is Joey just being “politically correct”?

Little more from Joey…

While Votto envisions a Reds future, a lot of other folks wonder whether the Reds, a small-market team like Fielder’s old Brewers team, will allot the money it would take to keep a superstar longterm. There’s no evidence the Brewers were anywhere close to the ballpark for Fielder (they are believed to have offered $120 million over six years at one point). Milwaukee and Cincinnati are similarly-sized cities, but Votto isn’t sure there’s a parallel to be drawn.

“My situation is totally different. Cincinnati is a totally different city,” Votto said. “Although (Milwaukee’s) attendance jumped recently, our TV ratings are good and our fans desperately want to come to games. We just have to put a good product on the field.”

So, what do you think? Mean something? Just talk? Gives the Reds an opportunity?