The Cincinnati Reds were never going to pay Joey Votto $20 million to play baseball for them in 2024, even though his contract had a team option for said price. The Cincinnati Reds were always going to pay Joey Votto at least $7 million for the 2024 season, however, as that was the set buyout of said option.
The question was this - would they find some middle ground for less than the extra $13 million to have him stick around for one final season?
That answer came in a pretty evident way on Saturday morning, as the Reds not only declined the option in administrative fashion, but also released a statement that effectively called time on him playing for the Reds at all in 2024.
Here are Nick Krall’s words via Twitter:
While the door did not slam shut with emphasis, that’s a pretty clear indication that the team has moved on from what Joey has in mind. That said, this also does nothing to suggest that Votto has chosen to hang up his cleats for good, either - if anything, it makes it sound like the future Hall of Famer has eyes on a more full 2024 season than the Reds themselves could offer and will now likely seek that kind of opportunity elsewhere.
We’ll have more on the Votto Era in due time. For now, remember that it came to a close on November 4th, 2024, over 22 years after it began.