The Reds inked first baseman Joey Votto to a three-year, $38 million contract extension on Sunday, buying out all three of his arbitration-eligible seasons. Now John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the financial breakdown of the deal.
Votto will earn a $5 million salary in 2011, a $9.5 million salary in 2012 and a $17 million salary in 2013.
The Reds also gave Votto a $6 million signing bonus, but they spread it out over the next four years due to budgetary concerns. He got $2.5 million when he signed the dotted line last weekend, he will get $1.5 million in 2012 and a late $2 million payment in 2014.
Why the late payment on the signing bonus? According to Fay, the Reds have determined they can not afford to pay $20 million per season — or even $19 million per season — to one player and still remain competitive. That almost certainly means that Votto will leave Cincinnati when he becomes a free agent after the 2013 season.
Unless, of course, things change and the Reds find a new way to pump revenue into the club. With a solid group of young players, they should be good for the next several years. Maybe the fans will begin to pack Great American Ballpark every night and maybe jerseys will begin flying off the shelves. But there is no reason to think that will happen. Last year, when Cincy captured its first National League Central title since 1995, the club finished 20th in overall attendance with an average of 25,438 fans per game.
They’ll have to do better.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.