The Reds have locked up Bronson Arroyo and Jay Bruce to extensions this month and the next logical candidate for an extension is NL MVP Joey Votto. The Reds are interested in signing the first baseman to a multiyear deal, but if they do sign him to an extension, it will likely be for less than the six years Bruce got, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter).
Free agency is proving to be lucrative for All-Star caliber players, so as one NL executive pointed out to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, top young players may be tempted by the open market.
Votto, 27, is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and is on track to hit free agency after the 2013 season. He could sign a two or three-year deal without affecting his path to free agency, much like Prince Fielder did two offseasons ago.