Joey Votto is the biggest lightning rod over the last decade when it comes to the Cincinnati Reds discussion among the fan base. Everyone has an opinion, and a lot of those opinions are very strong. Wherever you sit on the wide range of opinions, it’s pretty clear that you don’t believe that Votto is nearly the hitter that he once was. That’s not a knock, exactly, given that for a good time there he was in the conversation for best hitter in baseball.

The decline has been real, though. After leading the National League in OPS in 2017 with a 1.032 mark, and posting a 167 OPS+, Joey Votto has hit just .265/.382/.420. That’s an .802 OPS and a 111 OPS+. Overall, that’s a good slash line and it’s better than the league average. But it’s also a far cry from the hitter that he had been in the first 11 years of his career, too. Father time eventually gets to all of us. The old man is undefeated after all.

In the 2020 season everything about the year was off. For Joey Votto his season was a tale of two halves. And when the entire season wasn’t even as long as a typical half, we’re basically talking about one bad month and one good month.

In the first 30 team games of the season the Reds saw their first baseman hit just .191/.321/.326. That actually led to Joey Votto being benched for several consecutive games. When he returned on August 29th he turned things around and hit .258/.385/.557 in the final 29 games of the season. He showed an ability to drive the ball, homering eight times and adding in five doubles in that stretch.

But Joey Votto’s had good months over the last few years when he’s been on the decline. But there’s just been too much inconsistency. If you’ve followed the team in that time you’ve certainly noticed how many times he’s changed his swing as he’s tried to do something different to improve his output. Sometimes that has worked. Other times it hasn’t.

If you ask 10 people what to expect from Joey Votto in 2021 you are probably going to get eight different answers. Those are just opinions, though. But what’s interesting is just how far apart the two most popular projection systems in the baseball world are when it comes to just how valuable Votto is projected to be in 2021.

ZiPS, from Dan Szymborski, run over at Fangraphs and has for quite a while now. The ZiPS system projects Joey Votto to hit .240/.346/.384 on the year and provide 0.6 WAR. It projects him as a negative fielder and a below-average hitter (92 OPS+). His 0.6 WAR projection would make him somewhere around the 350th most valuable position player in Major League Baseball.

PECOTA, which was released this week at Baseball Prospectus has a bit of a different outlook for Joey Votto. PECOTA projects Votto to hit .262/.392/.442 on the year. That is still nowhere near what he has hit in the past when he’s been at his best. But that projection is far better than the one ZiPS forecasts. And it’s a bounce back from where he was during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, and more in line with what kind of hitter he was during the 2018 campaign.

It’s not just the improved line that jumps out, though. Baseball Prospectus uses WARP, not WAR – but the stats are rather similar in what they are trying to measure, which is the overall value. While Joey Votto’s offensive line is good, but not great, he’s projected to have the 12th highest WARP in 2021 according to PECOTA among position players. He gets a big boost for his defensive value, even as a first baseman.

Both systems are projecting a triple slash line that seems like it could happen. They are quite different, but both do seem to represent a realistic possibility based on the things that we do know. The defensive projections and value are also quite a bit different. ZiPS sees a guy with a defensive value that’s below-average, while PECOTA sees a well above-average defender. And when we look at Joey Votto’s history, he’s been both of those guys.

Looking at the Baseball Reference defensive values, in 2017-2019, Joey Votto provided positive defensive value. But in 2020 he was negative and in a big way given the number of games that he played. UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is similar in what it has said over the last four seasons for Votto – above-average from 2017-2019, but well below-average in 2020.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle for Joey Votto and the 2021 season. He’s probably not going to be the 12th most valuable player in baseball among the position players. While that probably doesn’t represent the best case scenario, it’s probably close to it (in terms of overall value – a better offensive line seems possible, but probably without as much defensive value as PECOTA may be offering here). The flip side is that the ZiPS projection for Votto  with a .240/.346/.384 line with the defensive value it’s offering is probably the realistic “bottom”. The range of outcomes is quite large and the two most popular projection systems in the game are showing us just that.

82 Responses

  1. doofus

    Unfortunately, at this point in his career JV’s skills on offense, defense running the bases have declined to a point that he hurts the team more than he helps it. This will continue in 2021.

    • Jack

      He is still the best 1st baseman on the team though and I disagree he hurts the team. Did you see what most of the team hit last year?

      • MK

        And if he had hit as expected would the guy in front and behind him have hit better?

        If last year was 36- year-old Votto the 37-year-old erosion is not going to be better. The only players who got better at that age did so with chemical enhancements.

      • Donny Voiles

        I would think Moose would be the best 1st basemen on the team.

      • Droslovinia

        No, and neither did anyone else!

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, answer to the question is, “the overpaid one!”

  2. Redhaze

    I hope David Bell will be willing to hit Votto further down the lineup. IMO he should be hitting sixth.

    • doofus

      Agree he should hit down in the lineup, but ideally he should be a lefthanded pinch hit option off the bench and occasional starter at 1B. His contract precludes this so he will start.

  3. Bred

    Being a Joey fan, I root for him to hit and defend better, but watching him now is like when I drive past a car accident I don’t want to gawk, but I do. The past two seasons his batting stance was the crouched position while chocking up on the bat to start the season, and results were bleak. He adjusted stood tall and didn’t choke up on the bat as much, and he hit better. Admittedly, I don’t know squat about hitting, but watching him hit I noticed the difference in results regarding the difference in the two stances.

  4. Tom Mitsoff

    As Doug said, the decline has been real, both offensively and defensively. It’s certainly not what I want or hope for, but I think the Zips projection is closer to correct. As the team is currently constituted, and without a DH, I think Bell has to be ready to get both Votto and Castellanos out of the game defensively in the late innings.

    • Kevin Patrick

      I agree with this… as long as the Reds can put runs up in extras.

    • jim walker

      For many years, JV was a silent defensive weapon as one of the best throw pickers anywhere. Then sadly last year he started experiencing occasions when he couldn’t even catch throws right to him.

      I’m not an eye doctor but unfortunately, I’ve had too much experience being treated by them. Given JV’s age, I doubt that his difficulties tracking incoming throws and difficulties putting the bat on the ball like he used to are unrelated to each other.

      Hopefully, he and the team have taken all available steps during the offseason to figure out what his issue is and apply mitigating steps.

  5. RedsFan11

    I think his defensive decline has been worse than the offensive. If the DH isnt officially dead for 2021, I think that would be the best place to put Joey.

    • Rut

      Would have to think that any system that gives Votto credit for positive impact on defense has significant flaws and should be taken with a whole shaker of salt, if not discounted.

      Also have to say that the “tale of 2 halves” has been a Votto staple over the years, even when he was the top hitter in the league. So pretty easy prediction here — Votto will be gawd-awful for 50 or 60 games, probably to start the season if he follows his usual pattern.

      Then he will likely be an above average hitter for the remainder of the season, ending up right around a 108 or 110 OPS+ for the 2021 season.

  6. CI3J

    In some ways, Votto benefited from the short season of 2020. As we get older, our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly as they used to. So with a shorter season, he could give it his all for one month and not have to worry about what came next. He’s not going to be able to do that in 2021. Also, his bat and reflexes are slowing down, and while different batting stances/grips can mitigate this, they cannot totally negate it. Unless Votto becomes a part-time starter, he’s probably going to run out of gas sooner than he normally would in 2021, and his stats are going to suffer for it.

    I predict Votto will have a terrible April, a good May, a great June, then a terrible July and August, and a good September as the weather cools off a little.

    April, July, and August will be at or below the ZiPS projection. June will be close to the PECOTA projection. May and September will be between the two, but closer to ZiPS. I predict he will be about a 1-1.5 WAR player, will hit about .240 BA, .350 OBP, .400 SLG. Probably about 10-15 HR, with 5 of them coming in June. He will be below average defensively, and will run like Sean Casey on the bases.

    The Reds cannot be taken seriously as a competitor when someone like Joey Votto is occupying what should be one of the prime offensive positions in their lineup. If he were putting up these offensive numbers as a shortstop, I’d be pretty satisfied with that. But as a 1B, it’s pretty brutal. It’s also very worrying that there’s no one in the pipeline who is ready to take over from him. I remember Gavin LaValley was talked about as the heir-apparent for awhile, but he’s fallen off the face of the Earth since. Is he even still with the Reds?

    Honestly, Jesse Winker should move to 1B. He’s not going to cut it as a OF, and he has all the classic physical attributes of a 1B (tall, lefthanded, slow). Plus, his offense would play at the position.

    We are in the twilight of the Votto era. It’s really time to start thinking about what this team is going to do when #19 is no longer suiting up for 1B for the Cincinnati Reds.

    • LDS

      I’m pulling for the retired Joey Votto. Winker at first? Maybe, he’s not going to top anyone’s list of left fielders.

    • Ryan

      considering they didn’t have usual off/rest days last year in the shortened season, it seems like he did not benefit at all from a shortened season

    • doofus

      “As we get older, our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly as they used to.” I totally disagree. I can bang out the same number of pull ups at 63 that I did when I was 18… ZERO!

  7. AllTheHype

    The question with Joey in my mind is where will he be fit into the lineup. If his offensive production is closer to ZIPS, then he should not be top 5 in the lineup. But he probably will be there, because of the respect factor. And that hurts the team even more than his decreased production.

  8. JoshG

    would you guys be happy with the median of the two projections?
    .782 OPS

    • Matt WI

      I think I would, given the context. Anything north of a .750 OPS probably means he’s contributing on a regular basis, especially since it’s likely to be heavier on the OBP side of the equation.

      I know some people will argue that it’s wrong to settle for that out of a $25m 1B, but again, in the context of what the Reds realistically have, at that rate he’s not hurting things.

    • doofus

      No. Those are terrible numbers for a first baseman. Decent numbers for a glove first SS.

  9. IndyRedsFan

    Doug…or anyone who knows….

    Do either or both of these sites do a “post-season retrospective”??

    ie: “Here’s what we projected, here’s what the player actually did”

    Personally, I think it would add significant credibility to the projections if they did that.

    • Doug Gray

      Projections and predictions are different things. Predictions can be looked back on an dissected as to “why they were wrong”. Projections are not based on “I believe”, just the data from the past. While neither system lays out the exact formula it’s using, they are all essentially built the same way: Historical aging curves, historical player production (for the player it’s projecting as well as how players of that age tend to perform relative to their age and production the years previously), historical player comps for other similarly performing players, etc.

      • Matt WI

        While the prediction/projection distinction is important, I think Indy’s point is valid- Some way of assessing whether the projections pan out within a reasonable window is a fair ask. Otherwise, what’s the point in citing them if they are regularly wildly off base? Of course there will be variation and using only one player is not a good way to evaluate it. But on the aggregate, how well to those projections tend to stick the landing and give information worth listening to? Or otherwise, the model needs tweaking or it’s just noise for fun.

        Firms that have a better projection model for stock futures are where I’d like to put my money, regardless of whether or not it’s not a “prediction.”

      • lost11found

        Projections with no glance and how they pan out give no context to the quality of the assumptions going into the algorithim.

        In the end, they are more or less in silico opinions to be added to the heap of in vivo opinions.

      • Doug Gray

        The studies are out there. But things have changed, too, because as we have more data we can use, the systems are using it.

        They aren’t opinions on players, though. They are statistical projections based on what we believe we know about all players.

      • lost11found

        Computer predictions do reflect the opinion of the person creating the algorithm. They weigh various data, pick what they think is the most important, emphasize that while de-emphasizing other data, then create an algorithm around that.

        So they are opinions on players too, just generated a different way.

      • Doug Gray

        The data they choose to emphasize is because it’s proven to be more accurate, not because they *think* it’s the most important. It’s science, not really opinion. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be perfect, or accurate, but it’s not just an “I think” kind of situation, with the data or otherwise.

  10. Vada

    Doofus is RIGHT ON about Votto. I would add that if he really cared for the city and team he would retire or accept a trade so the Reds can use his salary where it can help the team. Appears Greed in the MLB is far more contagious than Covid.

    • Doug Gray

      Hear me out: If Bob Castellini and the other owners actually cared about this team and the city they’d spend more money on the team so they could better compete.

      • doofus

        Finding talented players throughout the draft or in the international market would also help them to compete.

        The Reds cannot afford to fail with their 1st Rounders; and, must also find value in subsequent rounds. Choosing Howard, Travieso, Blandino, Ervin, Gelalich in the first round from 2012-2014 were total wastes. The Reds do not draft well. I guy named Cory Seager was still available in 2012 when Travieso was selected.

        Could this be, because of what some draft choices will $ign for? In other words, the owners draft the player that will sign for less? Possibly.

        Last year ownership spent money, look how Moose and Castellanos performed.

      • Doug Gray

        Howard and Travieso blew out their shoulders (and prior to that, Howard got the yips). I’m not going to blame the Reds, or them, for the “failures” there. You can’t predict that kind of stuff happening.

        Let’s be real with this, though: The average 1st round pick is a bench player or middle reliever. We don’t tend to think that’s the normal outcome, but it is.

        The study is a little old at this point – it was published in 2014, but the average pre-free-agency WAR for a top 5 pick was 9.2 WAR. That’s 6+ years for an average of 9.2 WAR over that time. Your average starting, every day player, or average starting pitcher is worth 2 WAR per year. A top 5 pick in the draft, historically, isn’t even an average big leaguer. And it gets a lot worse from there. A guy selected 6th-10th overall produces 5.2 WAR before reaching free agency, or less than 1 WAR per season. Think about those numbers while also considering the guys taken in those spots who turned out to be Hall of Famers and racked up huge value that are carrying the weight of those who didn’t.

        Now, you say last year ownership spent money. I mean, yeah, they did. They spent so much money that they were middle of the road in spending and they got a middle of the road record for it.

      • doofus

        The owners thought they were doing what you say they do not do when they signed Votto to his present contract.

      • Doug Gray

        The owners may have thought that’s what they were doing, but at no point in Joey Votto’s career have the Cincinnati Reds been remotely close to a payroll that’s been in the Top 10 in the league. They’ve rarely even been in the top half of the league.

        In 2014 they were 12th in baseball in payroll at $112M. To get into the top 10 they would have had to top the Blue Jays $132M. In 2013 they were 13th at $107M. They needed to beat the Cardinals $116M.

      • doofus

        Doug, there is no was you can spin it, the Reds do not draft well. They also need to do better with international signings.

        There is more to fielding a talented roster than just throwing money at players.

      • doofus

        The Reds also need to know when to fold ’em. Like the Rays, they need to balance when to keep a player or move him when his value is high.

      • doofus


        What is your point about a team being in the Top 10 of payroll?

      • doofus

        My apologies, I zone-out when someone goes off on WAR stats.

        So what are you saying? That the Reds should choose not to draft in the first round because you say the average 1st rounder is a bench player or middle reliever; or, are you just covering for the Red’s poor first round choices?

        Or, are you agreeing with me (I know that is difficult for you) that the Reds MUST choose wisely in the first round. They need to select the Corey Seagers, not the Nick Traviesos.

      • Doug Gray

        What I’m saying is that expectations and reality are very different. If a team winds up selecting someone who actually turns into a mediocre every day player anywhere in the 1st round, they actually beat the odds and did a good job. But many people will say that it’s a failure because the expectation in their mind is that a 1st rounder should be an All-Star caliber player. Reality says you should expect a middle reliever or solid bench guy from your 1st round picks.

      • doofus

        If my memory serves me, Travieso and Howard WERE relievers in College when they were drafted. The Reds were going for the 1st rounders who would sign for less money.

      • Doug Gray

        Your memory doesn’t quite serve you.

        Howard started and relieved in college (both for Virginia and in the Cape Cod). Travieso was a starter as a senior in high school and was drafted out of high school. The Reds signed both of them for roughly slot money. They didn’t go cheap.

      • m2

        Doug, I hear you but look what the club tried to do with free agents this past season. The preceding year audacious trades (see Bauer). Moreover, compare the Reds club to the moves in their division (St. Louis not withstanding) and do you see a pattern? Go beyond the division and analyze the rest of baseball – is there a revenue trend? I don’t know Mr. Castellini’s net worth, nor am I privy to 2021 Club revenue PROJECTIONS. Lastly, I can not accurately PREDICT when COVID will be in the rearview mirror, or at least at a point that we can anticipate a near full return of fans (enabling revenues such as tickets and concessions) . Should you feel it convenient to compare St. Louis and Cincinnati in your assessment, I would caution you to not. Thank you for this site – it is typically a collection of level-headed folks. Best ~

      • Doug Gray

        I see a pattern of the Reds actually trying to win at the big league level once or twice a decade and hoping to something magical to happen the other eight years, and then crying about it when things don’t go right when they try.

      • doofus

        Let’s be real, Travieso and Howard were bad before they had shoulder problems.

      • Doug Gray

        Nick Travieso had a 3.14 ERA between Low-A, Advanced-A, the Arizona Fall League, and Double-A in 375.1 innings across those levels before his shoulder injury cost him nearly three full seasons before he returned to the mound for the final week of 2019.

    • RiverCity Redleg

      I am sorry, but this may be the most ridiculous comment I’ve ever read here. How is honoring the contract that both sides agreed upon, GREED?

      • jazzmanbbfan

        @RiverCity: unfortunately this is a comment I’ve read on this board many times over the past few seasons. None of us would give up millions and millions of dollars in a guaranteed contract because we “cared” about the city or team. Votto didn’t hold a gun to the Reds’ heads when they offered that contract and he has no obligation, nor should he, to step away and leave that money to Bob C and the other owners.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Many on here clearly show their lack of understanding in such comments. Votto’s been worth every penny of his contract, already. He owes the Reds nothing. If anything the Reds owe Votto for wasting many of his productive years on a futile rebuild.

  11. Roger Garrett

    We live with what he does untill he plays out his contract.It will be sad to watch it unfold but we will watch it and remember when he was one of the best.Heck most of us could live with what he is projected to do but I fear it will be much worse.

  12. Still a Red

    He likely aint gonna be what he used to be. But where he still seems to above avg. is his OBP. Maybe you keep in the first half of the line-up for that reason alone, as long as the guys behind can produce. I suppose an alternative is to bat him 9th to set up the front of the line-up…but I doubt anyone would be able to sell that to anyone.

  13. Still a Red

    FWIW…I did a little study on whether or not Joey improved the chances of scoring a run per plate appearance. I looked at the situation when he came up to bat and what the chances were that a run should score, using league numbers. Then I looked at the chances of scoring a run after his at bat. If he drives in a run, he improves the chances to 100%. If he grounds into an inning double play he decreases the chances to 0%. Then I added the numbers for a net score. He came out positive for the year. In other words, overall he improved the chances that the team would score a run. Don’t know (yet) how that compares to anyone else. Not sure of the value of looking at things this way.

    • doofus

      If Votto had a $16MM contract would teams who expect to contend this season take him at 1B/DH, given his 2021 projected results?

  14. Jonathan Linn

    @ Vada…Hi! How is this Vottos fault? Would you take a pay cut? I wouldn’t….ever. I would imagine most people would throw a fit if there employer told them that they had to take a mandatory 10% reduction in pay.

    • Matt WI

      Right on… nobody here would take a cut on a guaranteed contract. Sure, it sucks that a huge amount of $$ is being devoted to his decline, but it’s also not his fault that baseball’s entire pay system is tragically flawed from the get go- players in general, and specifically in Votto’s stratosphere, are hugely underpaid for their services during the early years of the careers. Win an MVP in your 2nd year? So what, here’s your league minimum if that’s what a team wants to do. The arbitration years help settle that out a bit, but there is a fact that essentially players are getting paid back for past performance on those longer term deals. Votto isn’t a jerk for keeping the money people shoved in front of his face and told him was his.

      Across his career, Joey has been worth his contract, even if at the end if is tilted the wrong way. Blame management for making the offer, don’t blame the player for taking the offer.

      • Doc

        Votto is being paid on the tail end for producing at the front end. If he can’t lace them up any more, he might retire; there is a limit to how much money one can spend. If he were staying only for the money, it would likely be a miserable few years for him. If the Reds offer a suitable buyout that, in effect, gives him money that covers his production from the early contract years, he might retire. Aside from those, as was well said in earlier posts, we loved him when he was underpaid, it is not a reasonable position to want to cut and run while making him out as some sort of ingrate at the tail end. Only asterisk is that the Reds certainly didn’t get their money worth in the year in which he was out for undisclosed reasons, but overall he was underpaid, such as it is defined in baseball terms.

      • Hotto4Votto

        It seems people forget all the value Votto created for a low cost earlier in his deal and only focus on the value now. It’s a shortsighted way of looking at things. No one was asking Big Bob to raise Votto’s salary in 2015 when he produced 7.8 WAR (a value of $62.4m) making $14m. Or in 2016 when he produced 4.2 WAR ($33.6m value) for $22m or in 2017 when he produced 8.1 WAR ($64.8m value) for $22m. And none of that takes into account the value he provided the franchise in his first six seasons, 34.3 WAR ($274.4m in value) for $35.2m when his salary was suppressed by service time and arbitration.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Comepletely agree. I know he’s getting older, but still pull for him to do well every game. He has not only been a great player, he has been a great represenative of the team and the city.

    • doofus

      Vada did not suggest that JV take a pay cut mandated by management, where did that come from?

      Vada suggested that JV do what any honorable Mountie would do whose time has come, move on into the sunset.

      • Jonathan Linn

        @ Doofus. HI. would you do that if you were in Votto’s shoes? I wouldn’t for a heartbeat. He signed the contact that was given to me and he going to get paid. There is no normal person who would give that money back. Would you allow yourself to get traded and move cities and be uprooted just because? I wouldn’t. Please remember…Votto is a human with feelings, wants, and needs…he is just like you and I in that regard.

      • Bill J

        Would want to keep working knowing each year you’re getting a little worse in front of the people you work for.

      • 2020ball

        @ Bill J – God yes i would for that sirt if money.

        The Votto-needs-to-retire crowd need to come off that crazy wagon, Votto has every right to his contract. Why have a bleeding heart for billionaire owners?

  15. Sliotar


    Well stated on Votto, IMO.

    It is what it is regarding his skills and remaining contract. According to FanGraphs, Votto has already greatly outproduced his deal … more than $400 million of WAR.

    The bottom of this page always is a good read to me each off-season … it is Baseball Reference’s list of Votto’s Hall of Fame credentials, using various formulas:

    I would like to think he is someday a Hall of Famer … but he still needs almost 100 hits to reach the 2,000-hit club.

    It really puts getting 3,000 hits for a career into perspective.

    • jim walker

      The quality of the teams Votto played on after 2013, does him no Hall of Fame favors. Such stuff probably should matter very little if at all but unfortunately it can be a make or break thing with getting into the HoF.

  16. Redsfan4life

    If Bell would sit Joey against every Left handed starter the Reds face, I think his numbers would be better than league average. Also sit him on day games after night games.

  17. Matt WI

    Brewers are supposedly moving Keston Huira to 1B… so at least another NL Central team will be getting less production there than you’d like to see 😉

  18. David

    Joey Votto has always been a “grinder”, a guy that worked hard to prepare and be in condition.
    I don’t think that has changed.
    But athletes, professional athletes, have amazing reflexes compared to the rest of us mortals. Twitch muscle response is part of that explanation.
    As anyone ages, that twitch muscle response declines. When it declines in Major League baseball players, their fielding and hitting (especially) decline, because while they can see the ball, their bat speed, etc has declined. This is not reversible. No amount of training off – season is going to fix this. No amount of advanced metrics and statistics can wipe it away.
    And Joey Votto has made the irreparable mistake every pro-athlete always makes; he is getting old.

    • doofus

      I bet that there is a “Twitch Muscle” stat….Fangraphs?

      • David

        If there isn’t, there should be! (sarcasm off)

        “Twitch muscle response” is just three words put together to descirbe rapid reflex response differences among people. We all have a different range of responses, but this does decline with age. Athletes, especially young athletes have remarkable “twitch muscle” response. It is, in part what made Usain Bolt an incredible sprinter. He worked hard at conditioning, etc. to make the most of his gift, but he was born with that potential ability.

  19. Dave

    Let’s be honest Joey Votto has been washed up for a few years now. We appreciate the great player he was but he is probably the worst 1B in baseball. At 25 million a year he is just stealing from this team and it’s fans. Holding this tight wallet team hostage for the next several years he won’t retire if he is batting below 100 why would he? If he cared about this team being competitive and it’s fans he should just write.

    • Doug Gray

      And the team stole from him for the first decade of his career. That’s just how baseball contracts work. He isn’t going to, nor should he retire “to make the team better”. He should retire if he doesn’t want to play baseball anymore. That’s the only reason he should retire.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Totally agree Doug, and he is not “washed up”. Also he is just as good or better than a lot of first basemen out there. Hopefully he will do better this year.

      • Roger Garrett

        Preach Doug.Most can’t stand the truth but Preach anyway.

  20. IndianaRed

    I think most people hate the contract now because Votto git older and declined – nobody thinks he’s worth 25 million a year. What everyone forgets is that is how all these contracts turn out – he was underpaid at the beginning and then ends up being overpaid at the end. He has already exceeded the value of what they paid him but nobody was saying pay him more in 2017 when he should’ve won the MVP for the 2nd time. I personally thought it was a bad decision then to sign someone for that long, but that was the game then. What contract like this works out? Pujols, Votto, Chris Davis (lol this was a joke, he wasn’t worth it when he signed) aren’t worth what they make make now, but what would everyone have said if Votto was allowed to walk back before he signed? It would’ve been here we go with the cheap Reds, losing everyone good and people would have been livid. You have to live with the bad at the tail end of the contract. Mike Trout will not be worth over 35 mil at age 39. Should the Angels have just not signed him?

  21. Joseph Nowicki

    trade him to a dh team,so he could finish a great career.

    • TR

      Will Votto agree to that? He has a no-trade clause. I hope the Reds are grooming a young first baseman in the minors (who, preferably, is a left handed thrower) to take over from Votto in a year or two. First base is a key position offensively and defensively.

  22. Frankie Tomatoes

    The amount of people who think that the Reds could trade Joey Votto to save money is crazy. Have you seen how much money teams are paying other teams to take elite level players right now? The Reds would have to pay nearly every penny of Joey’s contract to get someone to take it. Good luck with that.

  23. Kim Henry

    Excellent summary by Doug to begin the discussion. If you will recall, Joey himself has came out prior to the past few years and claims he put in extra work to better the prior year. Unfortunately, more work or not, he has declined. LET ME ASK JUST ONE QUESTION: WHO HASN’T AS THEY AGE. Here are a few examples chosen randomly by me of players declining batting average over their last three years.
    Albert Pujols: .299 career and .242 over past 3 years……57 points less.
    Wally Joyner: .289 vs. .258……31 points less.
    George Brett: .305 vs. .270…..35 points less.
    Keith Hernandez: .296 vs. .273….23 points less.
    Frank Thomas: .301 vs. .226…..75 points less

    OUR OWN PETE ROSE: .303 vs. .262…..41 points less.
    JOEY VOTTO: .304 vs. .265…..39 points less.

    You can insert most any player and the results are the same: AGE MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

    Joey is very likely not to reach past levels. As far as contracts go: that can be argued forever, but it does not change anything. We are looking at this year and what we can expect. I’m hopeful he can at least match the average of the last three years. As with any team, one man cannot be blamed nor credited for the teams performance as much as we try. If he can perform at his last three years average (which all have been concerning ) and teammates can match or exceed their averages, the REDS will be in the running for the Central title. GO REDS!!!!!