Everything has to end at some point. That includes Joey Votto’s run with the Cincinnati Reds.
He has been the face of the franchise for years. Votto was the one who stayed even as the franchise rebuilt. Even as the years caught up to him, Votto remained a beloved member of the franchise, a fan favourite who spoke his mind and would just be himself.
The end for Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds?
But Votto’s time in Cincinnati may be running out. He is 39 years old now and has battled injuries over the past few seasons. The Reds do hold a $20 million team option, with a $7 million buyout, for 2024, but it is highly unlikely that they will spend that much to keep Votto in town. Fan favourite or not, Spencer Steer and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are ready to take over. Votto would not be an effective use of payroll at that price, especially on a young roster.
The fans were certain to let Votto know how beloved he is. He received a standing ovation in what might be his final home game for the Reds, feeling that appreciation one more time.
If this is indeed the end, Votto has been one of the greatest players in franchise history. His 64.4 bWAR is fourth all time on the Reds, ahead of the likes of Frank Robinson and Joe Morgan. Votto had produced a .295/.409/.511 batting line in his 8736 plate appearances entering Sunday, hitting 356 homers and 459 doubles. He has a strong case for the Hall of Fame and has been one of the better players of his time.
This will not be the last time Votto steps onto the field at Great American Ball Park. Chances are, his number will be retired, putting him amongst the greats in franchise history. He would likely have another ceremony should he be inducted into Cooperstown. Votto will be back; it just may not be as a player.
Joey Votto has been the face of the Cincinnati Reds for years. The fans made sure he knew how much he meant on Sunday.