Poll: In the wake of the Ryan Madson deal, who’s the biggest sucker?

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Former Phillies closer Ryan Madson just signed a deal with the Reds for $8.5 million guaranteed with incentives that could give him a little more.  Earlier this offseason the Phillies signed Jonathan Papelbon to be their closer for $50 million guaranteed with incentives that could give him a lot more.

Now, to be clear, I think Papelbon is the better pitcher and the better bet to have a better 2012 season.  But they’re not so different that it justifies a three-year $42 million difference in their contracts.  Someone here is a sucker.  Maybe Madson for not signing someplace earlier. Maybe the Phillies for totally misreading the closer market.  Hard to say.

So you say.  Here’s a poll.  Vote early and often. Assuming the poll lets you. Not sure it does:

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.