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.
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.
Thank you AGON!!! This deal just keeps looking better.
It was God’s will
That loud crack was the collective heartbreak of Jays fans everywhere
My dad’s going to throw a fit.
The Blue Jays policy of not extending contracts to players beyond 5 years would have played a factor unless the ownership would have made an exception to their rule for him. I kind of thought they would try to extend him when they allowed Alonso to go in that trade for Latos. They also recognize that it would be in their best interest to lock him up long term before he hit Free Agency. St. Louis didn’t do that with Albert P. and they lost out.
They could have had Prince Fielder…
I’ll take Votto over Prince.
Fielder: OPS .929, OPS+ 143, RAR 195, (b-r)WAR 19.6, oWAR 24.1, dWAR -4.5
Votto: OPS: .947, OPS+ 156, RAR 194, (b-r)WAR 6.5, oWAR 5.8, dWAR .7
Voice Talent Marty D
Jays fans are now on suicide watch…
I love that this is happen cause all those Blue Jays fans were so set in thinking he was going to join them. I always thought there would be a chance he would but I never put that chance above 30 percent.
$220MM over 10, do it!
WOW!!!!!! Awesome news. Happy for Reds and their fans. I guess this will end the fantasy Votto to the Blue Jays “rumors”
Until the 2014 trade deadline.
Freddie Chetti-Diesel Dillon
If they sign him to a long term “EXTENSION” it wouldn’t start until the 2014 season, and I don’t know too many clubs dealing star players in the first year of long term extensions, so this makes no sense
If that’s true, wow. I thought he’d end up as a free agent, and hopefully, the Reds prove me wrong. I think that he’s worth the money, so long as Cincinnati isn’t crippling themselves further down the road.
that’s the issue. he’s probably worth the money, but the money he’s worth will significant limit the team’s options going forward
it’s an odd reaction to have because he’s a fantastic player, but i’m not sure i’d be thrilled with this if i were a reds fan
Yeah, if this is a 200+ mil commitment, as it likely should be–this is back-breaker for the franchise, unless they have a massive new TV deal in the works that I am unaware of.
Cincinnati isn’t a big enough market to get a big tasty TV deal like those other teams who have been getting them.
I read on fangraphs this morning that they’re only getting like $10MM a year on their current deal and that it runs through 2016, though I don’t know their source.
This is correct. Unfortunately, the deal was signed in the mid-2000’s, which were a Black Hole decade for the Reds. I think revenue will increase with attendance and they’ll certainly get a better TV deal then they have now in 2016 and may get a better one than you’d think as far as market size goes.
Partially because 700 WLW is a juggernaut, the Reds have one of the largest and most loyal radio audiences in all of baseball, peculiarly enough.
Even during the Big Red Machine years, the Reds never drew more than 2.5M. That is never going to change.
Besides the Dodgers, the Reds were the only team to draw over two million every year from 1973 – 1979. In the four years before that, the only team to draw two million more than once was the Mets.
You can’t compare attendance figures from 30+ years ago for different stadiums to the ones we have today.
$10MM a year? That’s aweful.
Ouch, 10 Mil a year is just atrocious.
Voice Talent Marty D
Consider this…the reds network will not be a Cincinnati Network but a regional network where they partner with teams in Indy, Louisville, Columbus…that makes it about the same media value as Chicago, Dallas or SanFran…maybe a little more.
They are willing to make a big splash like this once a decade (about). The last player? Ken Griffey Jr. Hopefully this one turns out slightly better.
Similar to Pujols and St. Louis. It just wouldn’t be a good idea to make your whole organization struggle long term from investing 20-25M when that can be eating 1/4 of your payroll (on one player).
The thing that many fans and other baseball people are not considering is the fact that the Reds do have the ability to raise payroll up to near 100 million. They have been making profits of between 20 to 30 million the past few seasons. If the team continues to stay in contention each year which it should baring any further major injuries to the team they will get more attendance and with possible playoffs more money there too.
I honestly am not really surprised by the move. I have been saying for 2 years that I thought Votto would stay here he just want not ready before when they offered him his current deal. He likes the direction the team went to get some quality players this winter. That helped a ton I think.
Me either.. How exactly did that Helton contract work out for the Rockies as an example? Granted, 9/141m didn’t even approach the overall value of this deal, but it made him non moveable for seasons when the Rockies wanted to be rid of him and this Votto deal might be good for the 1st 5-6 seasons, but what exactly of the final 6?
My gosh am I soo glad Boston got AGone for “only” 7 years now…
These horrid deals going out to 1b now are going to weigh teams down for years.
If I were the Reds I would focus most of the salary on pitching. That’s what’s holding them back.
Exciting news for Reds fans. Just hope it doesn’t hamstring the payroll too much…
how can they afford this?
Arroyo, Rolen, BP (likely) coming off the books. New TV deal in 2016.
that’s good, but this also means there’s a lot less money to replace those players. arroyo is no big loss, but phillips certainly is
While Phillips is a big loss, there are a few players in the minors that will be able to soften the blow.
1. Henry Rodrigez has a great glove, pretty good bat with some power. He could become a player like Phillips, but it won’t be immediate.
2. Billy Hamilton is expected to be ready in 2-3 years, and he stole over 100 bases in the minors last year. He needs to refine his defense, but he’ll be a top of the order hitter with little power and high OBP.
3. Gregorious is impressing at Spring Training. He has a good amount of power, good D, and hits for some average. He would likely get the first shot at the 2B job after this year.
The Reds can only afford to keep so many stars, and they apparently chose Votto (who wouldn’t?). Players like Phillips aren’t easy to replace, but it is easier to replace a Phillips than it is to replace a Votto. It also helps when there are several available in-house replacements.
at $200M, i wouldn’t
it may be slightly more difficult to replace match votto’s production than phillips’, but building around a player who plays the least-scarce position in baseball is dangerous when your resources are very limited
i don’t like the tulowitzki contract, for example, but it’s a lot easier to understand tying your chances to the best shortstop in the game than to [one of] the best first baseman. i’m a huge votto fanboy, but there are risks with every player. injuries and off years just happen
not trying to rain on the parade here. it’s an exciting time for cincinnati with latos and votto at the core. but this is really a pretty risky move, long-term
Very true. But luckily (knock on wood), Votto has shown to injury prone. For a small market team to stay in contention, they have to make a blockbuster move every once in awhile. This looks great for now and the near future, but nobody knows how it will look in 6, 8, 10 years. A 10 year extension would only be to Votto’s 39 year old season, so at least they wouldn’t be paying him in his 40s. Griffey Jr. didn’t work out, hopefully Votto does. You can only look to the future so much when you have a chance to win now.
true, but this move has everything to do with the future and really nothing to do with the now. they already had 2 more years of votto (his age 28 and 29 seasons)
hope it works out
I’d imagine 7-9 years, 10+ if the deal is worth $200M. Remember that Votto is only 28.
Aaaaaannnnd Eric Hosmer just got more expensive…
Votto does not even remotely affect Hosmer. Apples and Oranges.
Dude’s under team control through 2017. There has to be something more pressing you can worry about.
Like Hochevar starting Opening Day?
It’s Bruce Chen… No, seriously
If this is true…bye bye Brandon Phillips. Unless the Reds want to push payroll over $90m. But looks like Votto will be $20m-$22m and Phillips is unlikely to accept an extension unless its around $13m per. That’s over one-third of the team payroll locked into two players.
I love Phillips and from a business perspective they’d be smart to get Phillips on another 2-3 years deal until Billy Hamilton is ready. I don’t think Phillips is wrong in wanting to get paid, he’s been worth it for the most part the last few years. When he stops trying to put one over the wall he’s dangerous.
I’m so tired of people overlooking the other guys we have at 2B in the minors who are MUCH more ready for the show than Hamilton. Billy Hamilton will NEVER be the every day 2B in Cincinnati. If anything, he needs to be moved to the outfield. Stop reading into the hype (Dave Sappelt, anyone?)
I say let Phillips walk after this season and tell Henry Rodriguez the job is his to lose next Spring. The kid is almost there, just needs a bit more glovework.
Hamilton is still easily 2-3 years away from being ready for the majors so really its hard to say at that he won’t be good at that. However, what I am saying is that we have someone proven in Phillips who we can have around for those 2-3 years until we know if he’s ready or not.
You are right though, we do still have a nice stock of players ready to fill in but that doesn’t change the fact that I think most of them are still at least 2 years away from being ready for everyday. We’ve got a chance to win a championship now and for the next couple years so its really not the time to throw an unproven body in the middle of the field and just hope for the best.
Also last I checked, Dave Sappelt has barely gotten time in the MLB level yet so writing him off could be a mistake too. The Reds have a great farm system and its easy to get excited about most of these guys…unless they play 3B, can’t seem to get that one working out yet.
Sappelt is with the Cubs now. Sappelt, Wood, and Torreyes were all traded for Sean Marshall.
I’m aware of that…but that doesn’t mean that he still can’t prove himself as a good major league player.
Hamilton is not that far away and he certainly does project to be a starter. He hit much better the second half of last season and, of course, the speed. He could be a quick riser, and is comparable to Dee Gordon of the Dodgers.
Beavis De Beppo
“We’ve got a chance to win a championship now and for the next couple years so its really not the time to throw an unproven body in the middle of the field and just hope for the best.”
2 words….Zach Cozart.
I think Cozart is going to be fine been looking at his numbers from last year in short time and in the minors just before that. Plus this spring he hit very well. He also is a good defender too.
I agree that Sappelt hasn’t had the chance to prove himself, but he hasn’t exactly shut up the doubters, either. Last Spring that’s all you heard about, this kid who was quick as lightning but needed to work on other things. Sound familiar? And IMO H. Rod will not be a “fill in.” He’s the real deal, and looking at his composure during his first big league spring, I think he’s ready next year barring any major setbacks. You’ve also Gregorius waiting in the wings. I’d be interested to see if either of those guys is moved to 3B.
Beavis De Beppo
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I thought I was the only one sick of the Billy Hamilton hoopla. Yeah, dude is hella-fast….but nothing more. Bring on Henry Rodriguez or Didi Gregorious.
Big Time Timmy Jim
I hate the idea that people think this somehow “cripples” the franchise. It extends our window of contention by 2 or 3 years. Its worth it if they can get yearly attendance up to 3 million/year. AND it increases the value of a future TV deal by itself, since Fox Sports knows Cincinnati has a marquee player.
Also to note: The Reds TV deal is up in 2016. Cincinnati may be a small market, but their TV ratings are one of the best in the bigs. They’ll be getting a TV deal anywhere from $30M to $80M a year depending on what you believe (if the Pads are really getting $75M/year).
Beavis De Beppo
Not to mention, there has been talk of re-negotiating said deal before it expires in 2016. I think a Votto extension only helps in this regard.
These new TV deals are really interesting with some West Coast teams leading the way. The Cardinals are still locked into their deal for 6 more years. I heard rumors that there were talks that the Cardinals could do like the Rangers did and extend their contract for many years down the road(20 years). Some wanted to do this to create more immediate revenue to retain Pujols.
They decided that it will be better in the long run to wait out this contract and either sign a new one or many believe the real plan is to follow the Yankees and have their own network. If it took off anything like the Yankees did, it would be much more profitable than any deal with Fox Sports.
It’s going to be really interesting seeing if the trend of these mega TV deals continues. A lot of teams in the midwest will be up for new deals soon, we’ll see if they follow suit.
Market size has more to do with the TV deal than ratings. They aren’t going to “cripple” their franchise, but it will be hard for them at the end of that contract. Mid-market teams have much less margin for error in these deals. If Votto declines at the end of the deal, the team will most likely decline with him.
The Big Red Machine never even sniffed 3 million in attendance. Even when the economy in Ohio was good, they could not support that.
How many more people live in the tri-state area now compared to the mid 70s .. that was almost 30 years ago. There are a whole lot more people here now that can spend money then there were back then and if they continue to keep the prices lower than most parks or around league average then they will be making a lot more money with winning or playoff teams than they did back in the 70s.
Really good move for the Reds. This guy’s gone if he hits Free Agency.
Cain re-signs, Votto re-signs, Hamels re-signs…..Magic resigns!
Exactly my thoughts. Who are the Dodgers going to sign if players sign extensions before they hit the open market.
Content themselves with Ian Kinsler and Zach Grienke?
Kinsler has an option that is a no-brainer to be picked up.
Kinsler will be resigned after this season. There’s no way the Rangers will let their best overall player hit FA.
Beavis De Beppo
I’d take me some Grienke.
No chance Kinsler hits the market, but I’m sure that either Napoli or Hamilton won’t be resigned during the season. At least one of them will test the market.
How about they sign Kershaw? I know it seems like a foregone conclusion, but it will be a $100M+ commitment.
That is a definite, but K & K can’t do it by themselves.
I love how MLBTR is breaking this huge news – that’s awesome.
Good for him!!
Signing players like Votto to big deals isn’t what cripples franchises.
its signing mediocre veterans to mid range deals when the team has a cheap replacement readily available. Looking at you Bronson Arroyo.
Pay for excellence. (Joey Votto)
Pay for prime years as long as you are getting something of a discount to do so (Jay Bruce)
Stay away from long term deals for players in their 30’s unless they are the franchise (Brandon Phillips if he wants 5-6 years will likely be a mistake, allowing Larkin to walk even though he was nearing 40 would also have been one)
Phillips is close to a face of the franchise player, but if you have to pick between him and Votto its Votto every day of the week.
Agreed, my biggest problem with phillips is his inability to take walks. To me a .322 career obp just doesn’t cut it. He had a good year last year, but that was his first one in his career.
Good player, but 30 yr old 20 sb/20 hr guys with .322 obp dont deserve more than 8M in my opinion
He had a 30/30 year back in 2007… Is that not good enough to be considered a good year?
yes, but but that was 5 yrs ago, which in baseball is pretty irrelevant.
In that year, arod hit 54 hr, Soriano was 1 yr removed from 46 hr/ 41 sb.
Will either of them come close to that again?
Sure some team may look at that and say that he “could” repeat, but in all likely hood he is on the downward slope of his career, Even look at Utley, another NL 2b, He had 48 doubles, 22 hr, and .410 obp. I would not lock up phillips for 4-5 yrs that he very well may get, it is a bad contract in the making.
Any deal that totals 200 mill has the potential
To be crippling to any franchise. Also any 10 year deal has that same potential. And a ten year deal for a guy who is 28 could be very bad. Yes votto is a beast and plays a non physically demanding
Position but he will be 38 by the end of it. Not good. Just in terms of length and age. Plus the reds are a mid market team and time abs time again these deals kills mid market franchises. 5-6 year deal would have been perfect for the franchise. Let him hit free agency as a 33 year old. Not pay him 20+ for his age 34,35,36,37 and 38 year.
While, I am happy that Joey Votto is staying with the Reds, because I feel this is where he belongs! However, what I would like to know is what bank did the Reds rob to afford this?
The only bad knews to come out of this is that Phillips likely wont be in a Cincinnati uniform past this season. Thanks to Phillips for the great years and great fan experience though, whoever gets him will be lucky. Votto is just more important to lock up now. I can finally stop reading all of the “Votto to here, Votto to there.”
We’ll miss you BP if you can’t come to terms with us, but you’ll get your big payday from a team and they’ll be lucky to have you. This is one of the most monumental deals the Reds have signed (or will sign very soon) since Ken Griffy Jr, and hopefully it works out better than that deal.
P.S. Chapman is officialy in the Bullpen in the midst of all this camotion, so that kinda sucks.
Beavis De Beppo
Phillips is kinda screwed by the new CBA….with his salary and/or worth being real close to that league average. I guess if he really does LOVE Cincinnati, he’ll accept arbitration for the next 3 or 4 years. I’m not gonna’ hold my breath, though.
Beavis De Beppo
And what is all this Chapman to the ‘pen stuff? Where is this coming from?
Yeah its official.. He is going to be the late inning lefty to at least start the season it was stated. The bullpen is too hurt with Masset and Madson injured to start the season and Bray they are not sure he is fully recovered yet either. As much as I hate to see this happen to Chapman they almost had to do it. Bailey stinks out of the bullpen and Francis not real sure how he would do. I did wonder if Leake could have been good in the bullpen but not sure.
Another thing I didn’t like from the MLB Article was it said Leake is the 5th starter he was the 2nd best pitcher last season in the rotation. The only thing I could come up with why is because Arroyo is starting as #3 shameful I think.. and they didn’t want to put them back to back cause they are very similar pitching styles.
Adrian Gonzalez deal is now a complete steal!
How can you know that without contract terms?
You were saying…
Votto: 225/10 = 22.5M / yr
Gonzalez: 154/7 = 22M / yr
What a steal!
225 Million over 10 years
154 million over 7 years
Not even close!
how? numbers havent even been given?
Which is a more prized possession right now? ACE or slugging/all-star first basemen?
Considering that a pitcher has a high probability of breaking down before a first basemen does, I’d say a top tier 1B is much more valuable. This rings even more true if the DH rule is applied to the NL in the near future.
There are a lot more slugging all star firstbasemen then True aces.
1b- Albert, prince, konerko, Tex, gonzo, miggy( just because he is playing some 3rd this season does not mean he is not a first basemen) hosmer will be very soon, morneau if healthy, NL Freeman, Davis, Howard( healthy) berkman, votto,
True aces- halladay, CC, lee, kershaw, lincecum, Felix, verlander, strasburg, greinke, Cain,
if you are willing to count Freeman, Davis, Hosmer as slugging first basemen, then what stops you from considering Hamels, Gallardo, Weaver, Haren, etc as aces.
kudos to MLBTR for breaking this story, btw. that’s kind of a big deal
Yep. Votto and Jocketty have said publicly that they won’t really be talking about a possible extension publicly (irony).
Jays should really try for Brandon Phillips now that Votto is, apparently, extended. Not sure what the Jays will do at 1B now, though.
Good for the Reds. I was partially hoping he’d hit FA then the Rangers could have replaced Hamilton with him, but oh well. Teams have to keep their guy, which means Hamilton is probably about to get a call about an extension. There’ll be no one to replace him with now.
The Dodgers sale has absolutely nothing to do with this contract extension, unless you think the Reds blinked, gave in, and offered more money because they thought the Dodgers would go after him when he hit free agency. But even that is a stretch.
makes the latos deal well worth it
So much relief. I thought he’d end up in Boston or Toronto.
Why would Boston who already has one of if not the best offenses in baseball, and not to mention a great 1B of their own, need Votto?
At least one of the big three franchises (as of now) in the National League Central was able to keep their franchise first baseman…
I’ve often argued that a Votto signing wouldn’t “cripple” the team (barring an injury disaster).
1. He’s going to make $19M in ’13; any raise over that isn’t going to be huge.
2. Arroyo’s contract will be off the books after ’13.
3. Three of the next four most important players (Bruce signed thru ’16/’17, Cueto signed thru ’14/15, Latos under team control thru ’15) are all signed for below market value for a number of years. Only Phillips is not tied up long term.
4. Two more opening day starters (Cozart, Mesoraco) are under team control for 6 years.
5. While the upper minors are thin after the Latos and Marshall trades, the lower minors have a number of impact players who could be ready in 2-4 years.
While I doubt that Cinci’s new TV contract will match San Diego’s, getting Detroit money ($40M/yr) might be realistic; heck, even getting to $20M/yr would pay for Votto’s extension.
10-200 my guess. Power hitting lefty who can’t field should get that if prince got what he got
Uh, Votto won a Gold Glove last year. UZR has him +4.9 r/150g and bbref has him +2 runs for his career; the worst you could say is he’s an average fielding 1b.
Bit of an overpay, he is already 28, and 2 years older than prince in their fa years. He has less power than prince, I really wouldn’t go over teix’s 8/180
You do realize that 10/200 is LESS than 8/180 right? Math fail?
So much for 10/200. Now both of their contracts have equal AAV
10/$225 = $22.5 Mil/year
8/$180 = $22.5 Mil/year
In my opinion, if Votto does sign the extension this will keep the reds in contention through the 2015 season. At least on paper. Votto, Bruce, Latos, Cueto, Marshall, and Leake will all be on the team through then. Everyone says it will hamstring them, but their key players are already locked in.
I think that Votto over the next 10 years is one of the safest bets in the game. If the Reds got him signed for anything under 20 million annually its a win for them.