The Reds and Joey Votto are "working hard" on a multiyear extension for the reigning NL MVP, tweets SI.com's Jon Heyman. Votto, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time, is currently under team control through 2013.
Heyman suggests Votto and the Reds could end up agreeing to a three-year contract, which would only buy out the 27-year-old's arbitration seasons. In such a scenario, Votto would still be eligible to hit free agency after the 2013 campaign, though it would give the two sides some cost certainty until that point.
The Reds have already extended one of their lineup's cornerstones this winter, signing Jay Bruce to a six-year deal. While the Reds may not commit more guaranteed money to Votto than the $51MM Bruce will earn, the average annual value of a Votto extension would certainly be higher, even with no free agent years included. In a second tweet, Heyman indicates that, if it gets done, a three-year deal would likely be worth around $37MM.