Will the Toronto Blue Jays bring Joey Votto back to his hometown team?
Sounds like it’s possible.
While Cincinnati Reds general manager Nick Krall has plans for Votto retiring with the only MLB club he’s ever known, The Athletic’s Jim Bowden reports that the club may be willing to trade him to Toronto, should Votto request it.
Nick Krall #Reds GM told us their plan is for Joey Votto to finish his career as a Red. However, if the Reds are out of it at the trade deadline and Votto came to them and asked if they would trade him home to Toronto #BlueJays..he said he would consider under those circumstances
— Jim Bowden⚾️🏈 (@JimBowdenGM) March 20, 2023
If the Reds are out of playoff contention at the trade deadline, and Votto asks for a trade, the club would be open to exploring the option of sending the Canadian to the Blue Jays to finish his career.
Votto, now 39 years old, was born and raised in Toronto and still spends time in the city throughout the offseason.
A two-time Northern Star Award winner for Canadian male athlete of the year, Votto is currently getting back up to MLB speed at spring training after undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in 2022.
Prior to the surgery, he showed he could still play at the top level, despite struggling to a slash line of .205/.319/.370 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs. Votto boasts a .297 career batting average and a slash line of .297/.412 /.513.
While the six-time All-Star and former National League MVP would bring added experience to the Jays, there’s no guarantee he would elevate their on-field product, having struggled the last several seasons.
Primarily a first baseman, Votto would also have to compete with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and new signing Brandon Belt for games at his corner spot.
Still, with a young Toronto group looking to take the next step after 2022’s playoff heartbreak, making a deal for the Canadian veteran Major Leaguer could be an intriguing proposition.
Votto is scheduled to earn $25 million in 2023. Cincinnati holds a club option for $20 million in 2024 as part of the 10-year, $225-million extension he signed in 2012.