Joey Votto Rumors

Reds Notes: Votto Reaction, Phillips

Here' the latest out of the Queen City, including lots of thoughts about Joey Votto's contract extension

  • Votto has full no-trade protection for the 10 years of his extension, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) notes that the no-trade clause also covers the final two years of Votto's existing contract (covering 2012-13).
  • Votto's deal is "slightly backloaded," a source tells ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) but doesn't included any deferred money.
  • The Reds think they still have a chance to reach an extension with Brandon Phillips, tweets Jerry Crasnick.  We heard yesterday that it was looking unlikely that Phillips and Reds would work out a new deal before the season begins.
  • It's telling that Votto and the Reds seemed to work out an major extension "in a matter of weeks" while Phillips and the club haven't been able to make much progress after a year of contract talks, writes Ken Rosenthal.  A team insider tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that while the Reds like their second baseman, "Phillips isn’t going to compete for the MVP every year. Votto is."
  • Also from Fay's link, he notes the differences between Votto's deal and Ken Griffey Jr.'s nine-year, $112MM deal with the Reds from 2000.  Fay feels the Reds believe they'll get a new local cable TV deal before their current agreement expires in 2016, and that the Reds' revenue streams from MLB's national TV contract and new media sources will also increase, thus allowing the team to push the payroll to around the $100MM mark.
  • Ken Rosenthal wonders if Castellini pushed Votto's deal though, a la Tigers owner Mike Illitch becoming involved in his team signing Prince Fielder.  Rosenthal also thinks Votto's extension could eventually become an albatross for the small-market Reds.
  • Cincinnati's smaller-market status, however, played a role in Votto's desire to stay in town.  The first baseman told John Fay (Twitter link) that "I'm about to sign a huge deal, John, and you're the only media I have [to] answer to."
  • In case you missed it earlier today, the Reds claimed Alfredo Simon off waivers from the Orioles.

Olney On Votto, Cain, Hamels

Two National League stars signed massive extensions yesterday and Buster Olney discusses the two deals in his latest column at Some highlights, starting with Joey Votto's $225MM deal:

  • “At some point this contract will be a drag on a team in a mid-market,” one talent evaluator told Olney. Another called the deal “nuts,” and a third said it’s “absolute insanity.” One supporter of the deal said letting Votto go would have crushed the franchise.
  • If the Giants hadn’t offered Matt Cain a record-setting deal, he would have obtained a nine-figure deal elsewhere. Olney suggests it’d be hard to find a more consistent pitcher than Cain.
  • Talks between the Phillies and Cole Hamels have been dormant in recent weeks, but could be rekindled at any time. Olney finds it hard to imagine that an offer worth markedly less than Cain’s $112.5MM deal would have much appeal to Hamels and agent John Boggs. Ruben Amaro Jr. recently said the Phillies can afford three $20MM starters.

Reds Agree To Extend Joey Votto

Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols won't be the only first basemen to cash in with historic contracts this offseason. Joey Votto and the Reds have agreed to a ten-year, $225MM contract extension according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal includes full no-trade protection. Dan Lozano of Icon Sports Group represents Votto.

Joey Votto - Reds (PW)

The ten-year deal will keep Votto in Cincinnati through 2023 according to Nightengale, indicating that it's ten years on top of the two years left on his current deal. Votto signed a three-year, $38MM extension prior to last season. With this new deal, he is now under contract for the next 12 years at a total price of $251.5MM.

This is the fifth deal in MLB history to surpass the $200MM mark. Prince Fielder, Alex Rodriguez (twice), Albert Pujols, and now Votto make up the select group. This is also the largest contract ever signed by a non-free agent, surpassing Derek Jeter's ten-year, $189MM deal with the Yankees. Ben Nicholson-Smith suggested in January that an additional $161MM could be enough to keep Votto in place long-term. Though not directly related, the Dodgers' sale price of $2.15 billion can't have hurt Votto's leverage.

Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, has evolved into one of the game's elite players since debuting in 2007. He followed up his MVP season with a .309/.416/.531 line, 29 homers and 40 doubles. The 28-year-old has been a seven win player each of the past two seasons, according to FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement.

MLBTR's Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith first reported that the two sides were nearing an agreement. John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer, Jon Heyman of, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports all added details (all four Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.

Quick Hits: Rodriguez, Spilborghs, Votto, Hamels

Matt Cain signed a five-year extension today and Joey Votto is nearing a long-term deal of his own. Here are some more links from around MLB…

  • Alex Rodriguez spoke glowingly about Miami and the Marlins' new stadium this weekend, as Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports writes. The Miami native didn't hold back, uttering phrases like "such a beautiful stadium," "I get chills," "a very special day" and "the Marlins do a phenomenal job." Henson wonders if the Marlins could trade for Rodriguez at some point before 2017, when his contract with the Yankees expires.
  • Indians outfielder Ryan Spilborghs will report to Triple-A tomorrow, unless he finds a job in the Major Leagues today,’s Jordan Bastian tweets.
  • Dave Cameron of FanGraphs discusses the Votto contract talks, writing that "you have to wonder if the Reds got inspired to kick things into high gear after they saw what the new owners were willing to invest in Los Angeles."
  •'s Buster Olney points out that Cole Hamels gained tremendous negotiating leverage with Matt Cain's $112.5MM extension (Twitter link).

Reds, Joey Votto Nearing Extension

Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols won't be the only first basemen to cash in with historic contracts this offseason. Joey Votto and the Reds are nearing an extension that will keep the first baseman in Cincinnati for a long time, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes and Ben Nicholson-Smith have learned. Dan Lozano of Icon Sports Group represents Votto.

Joey Votto - Reds (PW)

Terms of the deal are not known, but it wouldn't be surprising if the total contract value surpasses $200MM. Votto will earn a total of $26.5MM through 2013 on the extension he signed last winter. I suggested in January that an additional $161MM could be enough to keep Votto in place long-term.

It's a ten-year, $225MM contract according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The deal eclipses Prince Fielder's nine-year, $214MM with the Tigers.

Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, has evolved into one of the game's elite players since debuting in 2007. He followed up his MVP season with a .309/.416/.531 line, 29 homers and 40 doubles. The 28-year-old has been a seven win player each of the past two seasons, according to FanGraphs' version of wins above replacement.

Just four deals in MLB history have surpassed the $200MM mark. Fielder, Alex Rodriguez (twice) and fellow Lozano client Albert Pujols make up the select group.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire. This post was originally published on April 2nd.

Quick Hits: Hamilton, Reds, Francis, Rays, Nady

Wednesday night linkage..

Quick Hits: Hernandez, Hamels, Grabow, Wells

In what has to be one of the more unusual clubhouse transactions in baseball history, Carlos Beltran has come through on his promise to pay for ex-Mets teammate Jonathon Niese's nose job.  Beltran footed the $10K bill for Niese's rhinoplasty, which, as Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld famously observed, is a pretty unusual name for such a procedure.

Some news from around the majors…

  • The terms of Roberto Hernandez's restructured contract with the Indians have been reported by The Associated Press.  The pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona will now earn $2.5MM in 2012 (down from $7MM) with another $2.7MM available in roster and performance bonuses.  The Tribe's $9MM option on Hernandez for 2013 drops to $6MM, though Hernandez can earn that money back based on innings pitched and bonuses carried over from 2012.  Cleveland also holds a $14MM team option on the right-hander for 2014 that is apparently still intact.
  • Cole Hamels feels bad that his friend Ryan Madson will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but Hamels said that Madson's situation won't cause him to rethink his own plans for free agency, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports.  "If you're in the game long enough, nothing can push you in a different direction and make you worry," Hamels said.  "If you're able to reach free agency, you've obviously had success in the big leagues, and there are going to be teams that trust you….Surgeries are a lot better today, they're not as scary as they were 10 or 12 years ago."
  • The Pirates haven't yet expressed interest in left-hander John Grabow, tweets Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  Grabow exercised an out clause in his Dodgers contract earlier today and is now a free agent.  Grabow was originally drafted by the Bucs in 1997 and pitched for the club from 2003-09.
  • Right-hander Kip Wells threw for the Mets a few weeks ago and hit 93 mph on the radar gun, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).  Wells hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009 but recently signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks.
  • I’ve been a Red for 10 years now,” Joey Votto tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I don’t daydream about playing for another team. I don’t.”  Votto is scheduled to hit free agency after 2013 but again reiterated that he hopes to remain with the Reds and is only focused on the upcoming season.

Quick Hits: Votto, Twins, Dodgers, Lannan

The Padres signed Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson on this date in 2001 and the 42-year-old went on to steal 25 bases with San Diego in his final season as a Major League regular. Here are today's links…

  • Joey Votto told Jon Heyman of that it'd be tough for a premium position player to sign a five-year deal. "No matter how fond a person is of the city, players have to maximize the number of years," Votto said. The first baseman, who is under contract with the Reds through 2013, says Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols "did excellent'' in free agency this offseason. Votto added that he would like to stay with the Reds and that the Cincinnati market seems strong.
  • Twins GM Terry Ryan said there's a "possibility" the club looks to obtain a utility player from outside of the organization, according to’s Rhett Bollinger (Twitter links). Ryan said he’s open to promoting a Double-A player like Brian Dozier, but not for the utility role.
  • Rival executives say manager Don Mattingly is one of the reasons the Dodgers are currently an underrated team, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The second-year skipper told Rosenthal that Spring Training has been easier this year, since he’s no longer breaking new ground at every turn.
  • Rosenthal hears the Tigers and Red Sox are the most serious suitors for left-hander John Lannan (Twitter link). However, Lannan hasn’t looked great this spring and the Nationals aim to clear his entire $5MM salary in any trade. Chien-Ming Wang’s hamstring injury could also affect Lannan's status as a trade candidate.
  • The Blue Jays remain interested in upgrading their rotation, Danny Knobler of tweets. It doesn't sound like the chances of a deal involving Gavin Floyd are particularly high, however.

AL East Notes: Johnson, Pettitte, Blue Jays

The big news out of the AL East today is that longtime Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will announce his retirement later this week. The 15-year veteran will retire with two World Series rings, three All-Star Game selections and 193 home runs. Here are some notes on his former division rivals…

  • Nick Johnson told Roch Kubatko of that the success of his 2012 season will come down to health. The Orioles signed Johnson to a minor league contract, but the first baseman didn't draw much interest this offseason. "There weren't a lot of teams giving me an opportunity," he said. 
  • Andy Pettitte visited Yankees camp and told reporters, including's Bryan Hoch, that he doesn't plan on making a comeback. Pettitte said he's "loving life" away from the ballpark and enjoying time with his family.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports asked Joey Votto about his interest in playing for the Blue Jays and didn't sense much enthusiasm from the Etobicoke, Ontario native (Twitter link). Votto, who is under contract with the Reds through 2013, recently said he prefers to keep contract talks private.

Central Notes: Sizemore, Kendall, Reds, Votto

Here’s a look at some items out of the Central divisions..