Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who has a full no-trade clause and $179MM remaining on his contract, maintains that he would prefer to remain in Cincinnati, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes. Votto produced an outstanding .326/.434/.550 line in 677 plate appearances last season, and it sounds like he wants to remain a Red as long as the team can still find a use for him. The Reds, of course, are rebuilding, and have traded a long string of veterans in the past couple years, including Todd Frazier, Johnny Cueto, Jay Bruce, Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman. It sounds, however, like neither Votto nor the Reds have any desire to add Votto to that list, at least not right now.
“I’ve worked really hard to not look [bad] in my career and I’ve worked really hard to be a loyal worker, and I’d like to keep that going,” says Votto. “Until I feel like I’m being shuffled out, you saw [that] last year with Brandon [Phillips], you saw it in Philadelphia with Chase Utley. Until I start feeling like the broom is on my heels, I’ll be a really nice guy. If I feel the broom on my heels, I’ll be a bit of [a jerk]. I’m not going to be a nice guy.”
Votto adds that he looks up to stars in other sports who have been able to play their entire careers with one team. “I admire [the NBA’s] Tim Duncan in San Antonio,” he says. “Never once did you hear about him going anywhere. Or [the NFL’s] Tom Brady in New England. Never once do you hear about him going anywhere, because they hold up to their end of the bargain by performing at a certain level and teams are excited to keep them.”
Reds GM Dick Williams repeats that he has made no efforts to trade Votto this offseason. Two weeks ago, he said he had not spoken with Votto about the possibility of waiving his no-trade clause.