The Reds need to notice what they have right under their nose
- Updated: February 20, 2012
It’s that time of the year again, gifts of love are exchanged, football has come to a close, and baseball fans stir up their optimism about their team’s chances of winning it all. With this in mind the Reds are optimistic when it comes to securing the team leader, Joey Votto. Although Votto is locked up through 2013 the Reds would like to avoid arbitration. While making around seven million last season, Votto would make about 17 million in 2013.
Seeing what has transpired to this free agent market the recent trend that just can not be missed or denied is the fact that 1B in the NL Central are following the money. Pujols and Fielder both will make around $24 million each in their first year of their respective contracts. Pujols has averaged in the last four seasons: (117/.324/.421/.612/1.033) (RBI/AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS) and is arguably the best at 1B in the game today. Fielder who received a similar contract to Pujols has averaged in the last four seasons: (112/.284/.400/.537/.937) which give many the impressions that Prince Fielder is right behind Pujols as the best 1B. The Angels and Tigers will want to see these numbers for what they have paid to get them.
What about the teams that missed out on Fielder? The Nationals, Mariners, and the possibility of the Rangers. Will these teams make a move to get proven talent or stick with homegrown prospects? Certainly Joey Votto can not be excluded from this discussion. In 2013 will the Reds trade him or let him test the free agent market? Keeping note of how much the NL Central 1B have signed for why would Votto stay, resulting in him being paid the “hometown price.” His past four season stat averages are Fielder like, minus the power numbers (96/.312/.406/.551/.957) also averaging 8.5 runs created per game compared to Fielder’s 8. Include an MVP to Votto’s résumé and him and his agent could get a big contract. Not necessarily what Pujols and Fielder have signed for but close to it. Who’s to say Votto and his agent want to stick around inCincinnatiwhile being paid less than his counter parts.
The situation here for the Reds is to realize what they have in the organization, add it to the talents of Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Drew Stubbs. The Matt Latos trade will cost the Reds more to keep him around. Add what the organization brought in this offseason and the Reds could be looking at multiple runs for the division title. Running out of money the best solution is to either clear house for money to spend on Votto or trade him in 2013 to receive talent for the future. The Reds payroll has jumped up from the previous years so at this point it could be do or die for the Reds to make a deal with Joey Votto.