Joey Votto’s 2011 Salary

The Reds may or may not offer Joey Votto an extension this winter, but he's setting himself up for a massive raise, even if Cincinnati doesn't offer a long-term deal. Votto leads the National League in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage and is second in RBI and third in home runs. He's just three homers and three RBI away from leading the league in every triple crown category and has a 1.023 OPS since the All-Star break, so he's showing no signs of slowing down.

The Reds have enjoyed three-plus seasons of dirt-cheap production from their first baseman, but that's about to change. Votto goes to arbitration for the first time this winter and he's comparable to a group of first basemen that earned significant raises in their first seasons of arbitration.

To determine how much Votto can expect to earn in 2011, let's compare his numbers to the ones some current first basemen had entering their first seasons of arbitration. Here are the stats Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Justin Morneau, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Mark Teixeira had leading up to their first arbitration seasons, plus the salaries they ultimately agreed to. 

  Reds Votto

Please note that Fielder, Teixeira, and Pujols signed multi-year deals that included their first seasons of arbitration. 'Age' shows the player's age at the time of the signing, not his current age.

Votto’s rate stats are comparable to Cabrera’s, but Votto has played significantly fewer games than Cabrera had. Fellow-Canadian Justin Morneau had similar homer and RBI totals to the ones Votto has now, but worse rate stats.

Howard and Morneau, both super twos, parlayed MVP seasons into substantial raises, but Morneau settled for a modest $4.5MM salary, whereas Howard signed for a record-setting $10MM. Votto, an MVP candidate this season, could ask for something in between. It would not be unreasonable for him to seek a $7MM salary through arbitration this offseason if he keeps hitting like this.

32 Responses to Joey Votto’s 2011 Salary Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Reds should offer him a big contract now that buys out some of his first years of FA and hope he accepts. He’s already proven he’s part of the future of the Reds.

    Though does anyone else find this to be one of the most exciting story lines of this season? 2 Potential candidates for the first triple crown as a hitter since Yaz in 1967.

    • Lanidrac 5 years ago

      I agree. Judging from track records, recent performance, and which categories are currently being led, I think Pujols has the best shot, which would give the Cardinals a record (I assume, considering the rarity) 4 Triple Crowns (2 by Rogers Hornsby, another by Joe Medwick) plus a near-miss by Stan Musial (1 HR shy).

  2. howard and cabrera got more than Pujols? how?

    • myname_989 5 years ago

      Pujols didn’t go year to year in arbitration. He signed a really friendly deal with the Cards. I don’t know about Cabrera, but Howard was awarded 10MM in arbitration, pre-extension.

      • Ferrariman 5 years ago

        it seems like a friendly deal now doesn’t it? but at the time it set a record for most money for any pre-arbitration player in baseball history. just really a testament to pujol’s consistency.

        • myname_989 5 years ago

          Indeed. I hope I wasn’t being too modest by calling it friendly. Lol. 100MM seems like a steal for the best player in the game. Haha

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Pujols signed an unprecedented 7 yr/$100M contract, neither Cabrera nor Howard got as much guaranteed money as Pujols. A couple of years later started runaway figures during arbitration.

  3. LinusPauling 5 years ago

    where is Gonzales in this discussion? While his contract is ridiculous, his performance at least equals Votto’s. Let’s keep in mind that Votto plays in a sandbox ballpark and Gonzales plays in the Grand Canyon. This whole discussion/hyping of Votto seems to me to be another case of anti-West coast bias.

    • $1519287 5 years ago

      Gonzalez was considered as a possible comparable, but he signed a deal with the Padres before he was arbitration eligible, something Votto hasn’t done and something none of the other players listed did.
      – BNS

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      As you said, Gonzalez’s contract is ridiculous. This conversation isn’t about how much greater every first baseman is than Gonzalez, it’s about how much could a rising star 1Bman receive in his first year of salary arbitration. And Votto is pretty far from being hyped… despite your implication that his numbers are inflated by Cincinnati, career wise his numbers are slightly better on the road.

  4. myname_989 5 years ago

    Why should Gonzalez even be considered in this discussion? Votto has 15 HR’s at home, and 14 on the road. In fact, one can argue that he’s been a better hitter on the road this year. Adrian Gonzalez and his pedestrian 5.5MM option aren’t really a good comparisson for an extension, since he’ll be looking for one himself.

  5. Guest 5 years ago

    Votto is a man.

  6. Coples_Therapy 5 years ago

    I would guess Votto will get somewhere in the range of $6-7 mill.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      I didn’t “like” your post, but i really like your screen name. From now on no matter what you write, I will ‘like’ your post in honour of your awesome name.

      • Coples_Therapy 5 years ago

        Thanks! I just thought of that awesome name tonight after he gave another fine performance and helped my fantasy team

  7. alxn 5 years ago


  8. alxn 5 years ago


  9. slr5607 5 years ago

    For you Reds fans, I don’t hear anything about Votto being possible trade bait. I know it is difficult to talk about possibly trading your best player, but when your top position prospect plays the same position and has not done well in the outfield when they have tried him out there, why not go the cheaper route and add to an already good team? Alonso is going to be a stud, but it looks like it will have to be at 1B, if Votto goes year to year, or gets an extension, then there is no room for the #1 prospect.

    I would not be surprised if the Reds considered a deal for Votto. You would have to think they would get a nice haul for him.

    • Taskmaster75 5 years ago

      As a Cardinal fan, one can only hope Walt Jocketty is that crazy, but that idea is just ludicrous. You have absolutely no idea if Alonso is going to hit at the ML level, let alone field well. Votto has proven that he can keep up with Pujols for god’s sake, you don’t let that kind of player slip away, you wouldn’t get fair value.

      Alonso will probably be traded in the offseason for some sort of SP in order to stabilize the rotation, but Votto will be there for at least a few more years.

      • slr5607 5 years ago

        This makes a lot of sense, keeping Votto that is. If Alonso could get them a starting pitcher than they should move him. I wonder what the Reds would be willing to move their payroll to in order to keep their top players.

        • I’d much rather if Alonso could get us a Shortstop. I am happy with a rotation next year of Arroyo (they’re picking up the option…), Volquez, Cueto, Leake, Wood, Chapman, LeCure….oh wait…we still have too many starters, and several great prospects.

          If the Reds are going to insist on sitting Janish and not giving him a chance, I’d much rather get a quality SS for Alonso than another SP.

    • Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      Just because the guy’s going to get a raise doesn’t mean you should flip him to allow a prospect who isn’t even hitting that well in AAA to take the spot. Alonso will likely never play a game in a Reds uniform (unless they call him up next month) and I believe will make for trade bait in the offseason.

      • I think he gets a September Showcase….sort of like a September Call-up, but the express purpose is to showcase trade bait. :-)

  10. I’d like to see Walt offer Joey a 7-year, 70-million dollar deal…possibly with an option year or two tacked onto the end. He has earned it, and can be the cornerstone of the franchise. I think if the Reds did that and extended BP for another 3-4 years…we are in serious business for the next half a decade. :-)

    • 7 years for 70 million I don’t think will get it done unfortunately. I could see a deal for 7 years and 85 million perhaps and that might even be a little low. Throw on a couple option years and your talking probably about 105 to 110 million. Like you I agree lets get BP locked up too while we are at it.

  11. bleachercreature 5 years ago

    sign this man. Where did this guy come from? was he always this good or has this been his breakout year?

    • Always this good. From minor leagues through majors. :-) He was definitely the steal of the 2002 draft. People ignore Canada!

  12. NYY92 5 years ago

    well hes an mvp candiate and has ultimatley been the best offensive player for the reds.
    reds should hook him up,but dont multi year him yet.wait till next year at least

  13. can we get a little primer about their defensive capabilities somehow? Votto’s defense has improved quite a bit over last year if I’m not mistaken, and I certainly think it’s a worthwhile comparable to look at, especially when all people who aren’t sabr dorks only have giant hardons for HR and RBI, leaving OPS and defense pretty well overlooked.

  14. Ethanator99 5 years ago

    All of Reds country will march to GABP with torches and pitchforks if Votto is not extended.
    He’s the LeBron of Cincinnati!

    • Remember the riots in Cincinnati back in the 90’s …. well this would be worse if he does not get to stay in cincy past his arb years.

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