Joey Votto back to the Reds? Would be good for business, says one writer
Joey Votto appears ready to epitomize the Wolf of Wall Street scene where Jordan Belfort (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio) says he's not [expletive] leaving... After appearing in line for a possible reitrement, Votto has said he still wants to play.
And why wouldn't he? He's invigorated by the youth around him in Cincinnati and he wasn't exactly a net-negative last season after returning from the injured list where he started the season. In 65 games he batted .202/.315/.433 which was good enough for about a league-average OPS, better than his slightly-below-average OPS last season.
Votto might be five years removed from his last All-Star season, but he can still play. Plus, his presence on a young team like the Reds could provide immense value as a veteran voice and leader of the clubhouse. No doubt, he'd be the old dog, but he endears himself to the younger players and can provide the role model impressionable new athletes need in their first few years.
Plus, Cincinnati appears so close to competing, nearly securing a playoff spot this year. They could very well be what the Baltimore Orioles were this year in 2024. Votto can bridge the gap between the two eras and help the culture stay level-headed as they push for higher stakes.
For the Cincinnati Enquierer, Gordan Wittenmyer penned a column on Votto (subscription required) and what he brings to the table at this stage beyond his play on the field, though. He pointed out the marketability Votto brings -- his jersey is still the most ubiquitous, even if that doesn't hold for long in Cincinnati -- and the immense downside to not re-signing Votto if he's open to a return to Cincinnati. It could leave a bad taste in the mouths of Reds fans if they don't bring him back.
Cincinnati also has the control: Votto's 2024 has a club option for $20 million, with $7 million due if they opt out.
Regretfully, Votto has only appeared in 11 playoff games, and two of those were in the 2020 season when the postseason was drastically expanded due to a Covid-shortened season. His last appearance in a 'normal' postseason was 2013. Get him back to the playoffs one last time, Cincy!