A few days ago we heard the Reds were willing to listen to offers for first baseman Joey Votto, though they weren't actively shopping him. GM Walt Jocketty shot that down today, telling MLB.com's Mark Sheldon…
"We haven’t talked about it. I wish that people would stop writing it," said Jocketty. "Why would we trade one of the best players in the game? We’re trying to win."
Votto, 28, just completed the first year of a three-year, $38MM deal that bought out all three years of his arbitration-eligibility. He will earn $9.5MM next season then $17MM in 2013 before becoming a free agent. A trade now would bring greater return since the acquiring team will get him for two full years rather than one or even less.
The reigning NL MVP hit .309/.416/.531 with 29 homers this year, numbers that are actually down across the board compared to 2010. Miguel Cabrera had two years of team control left when the Marlins dealt him to the Tigers, though it's not a perfect comparison because of the Dontrelle Willis factor. Adrian Gonzalez returned three good prospects (and a role player) with just one year of control left. Either way, Votto would represent a viable trade alternative to a team fearful of handing a long-term contract to Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder.