Joey Votto: Extension Candidate

Walt Jocketty knows a thing or two about extending young, MVP-caliber first basemen. The Reds GM signed Albert Pujols to his current seven-year $100MM deal in 2004, back when he was running the Cardinals. This winter, Jocketty will have to consider offering an extension to another productive young first baseman, one who has led the Reds to the top of the NL Central standings.

Joey Votto would be leading the NL in every triple crown category if it weren't for Pujols. The Reds first baseman, who homered twice and singled in the go-ahead run in yesterday's marathon win, is having himself an MVP-caliber season. Not only does he lead the league in batting average, he has higher on base and slugging percentages that any other NL player.

Votto had put together two-plus productive major league seasons heading into 2010 and he's now about to go to arbitration for the first time. I suggested Monday that Votto could reasonably ask for $7MM through arbitration next year, but what if the Reds decide to offer him an extension? How much would they have to offer the soon-to-be-27-year-old to keep him around long-term?

It depends, of course, on certain variables. The Reds could attempt to buy out any number of free agent years, may want to add an option year or two and could even include incentives or bonuses. It would be foolish to try to predict the details of a possible extension, but we can safely attempt to determine how much Votto can expect to earn for his three seasons of arbitration eligibility.

As this chart shows, Votto has produced like Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Mark Teixeira had at the same points in their respective careers. Those first basemen each made between $4.5-10MM for their first arbitration season and between $7.4-15MM for their second arbitration season. The comparisons are imperfect, but they gives us a sense of the kind of money Votto can make. 

Fielder and Teixeira made $15-20MM for their first two seasons of arbitration, so if the Reds valued Votto's first two arbitration seasons similarly and offered a proportionate raise for 2013, they'd be looking at a $30MM price tag for their first baseman's next three seasons. It wouldn't make sense for the Reds to offer an extension unless they thought they were getting a fair deal, so they may not make a proposal at all. But whether they extend Votto or not, his next three seasons could cost them about $30MM.


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26 Comments on "Joey Votto: Extension Candidate"


moonraker45
5 years 8 days ago

M V P M V P

Dave_Gershman
5 years 8 days ago

Most Valuable player. Most Vottolicious player?

$1519287
5 years 8 days ago

It is undeniable: Joey Votto has inserted his name into the mix for Most Vottolicious Player in the National League.

– BNS

moonraker45
5 years 8 days ago

I would argue that Joey is more Vottolicious than Nick is Swishalicious.

RMR
5 years 8 days ago

Given Votto’s age, I could see his agent pushing for a short contract that will let him pursue free agency while still in his prime (more or less). I could see something along the lines of 4/44 ($6M, $10M, $12M, $16M).

dc21892
5 years 8 days ago

It’s interesting how Votto was talked about as a potential trade canidate all off season to make room for Alonso and everyone is suddenly worshiping him. Funny how sports work.

5 years 8 days ago

Funny how you’re under the impression that Votto was talked about as a trade candidate…pretty sure that didn’t happen.

moonraker45
5 years 8 days ago

Are you positive it didn’t ?

5 years 8 days ago

Not by anyone with half a clue!

start_wearing_purple
5 years 8 days ago

I kinda remember a lot of people suggesting trading Alonso for another top prospect. But that was just speculation on this site… fantasy trading.

IHateJoeBuck
5 years 8 days ago

Adam Lind for Joey Votto… priceless

joeygvl
5 years 8 days ago

No one in Cincy was talking about trading Votto. Jocketty sure as heck wasn’t. Stupid speculation. Just like the pre-season garbage about a Pujols-Ryan Howard swap. Baseless.

Ethanator99
5 years 8 days ago

If the Reds don’t extend Votto this offseason it would be just stupid.

moonraker45
5 years 8 days ago

woops

BigRedOne
5 years 8 days ago

No one in Cincy was talking about trading Votto.

If Walt Jocketty could extend King Albert to a 7 year extension, he is going to have no problem doing the same with the loyal and stand up guy of Votto.

With Walt Jocketty as our brain and Dusty Baker as our heart and soul, The future looks bright in Cincy. This is the most proud I have been of this team since the 1990 world series and the Big Red Machine.

New Red Machine!
Go Reds!

start_wearing_purple
5 years 8 days ago

Well I don’t see a Pujols-like extension happening. But a 4 or 5 year deal for $50M-$60 sounds possible.

$1519287
5 years 8 days ago

Agreed.

– BNS

adam1729
5 years 7 days ago

Remember when Sox fans on this site called for a Daniel Bard and Mike Lowell for Votto trade? It was ridiculous then…

adam1729
5 years 7 days ago

Remember when Sox fans on this site called for a Bard and Lowell for Votto trade in the offseason? It was absurd then…

tank1976
5 years 7 days ago

Votto is good, but he is not (price wise) in the same category as Pujols.

5 years 7 days ago

Votto has also stated publicly that he is willing to give the Reds a “hometown discount” to continue playing there.

My guess is they can lock him in for about $7m going up to about $11m or $12m over five to six years.

Ethanator99
5 years 7 days ago

This is very very good news. When and where did he say this? Do you have a link?

ASchorsch
5 years 7 days ago

Never heard any serious talks of trading Votto and I am from the area. He and Phillips coming into the season were the only two fairly consistent reliable bats under 30 y/o on the team

5 years 7 days ago

6yr/80M

5 years 7 days ago

6yr/80M

BigRedOne
5 years 6 days ago

I find it HILARIOUS that every time a superstar lands in Cincy, the talk immediately turns to trade talk (see Ken Griffey, JR. and Adam Dunn) or the inability of the small-market Reds to sign their guy long-term. This is a new era, different ownership, Walt Jocketty. The Reds will get it done, Joey Votto will get at least a 6-7 year deal this offseason for the following reasons 1) He is a loyal and standup guy. It is reported he told reporters he sees himself in Cincinnati winning championships for the next 10 years with his best friend Jay Bruce. 2) Loyalty. When interviewed at the all-star game he said he wouldn’t be the player that he is if not for the Cincinnati Reds organization. 3) Recently, he was quoted as saying it is an honor to be playing for baseball’s “original team.” 4) I recently emailed the Reds beat writer John Fay and asked him about Votto, he said he stays with a family in Dayton and he loves them. Result) Joey Votto is happy in Cincinnati, is having success and wants to win there. I see him signing a long-term team-friendly deal this offseason.