Update: It’s a 10-year, $225 million extension, according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. It doesn’t replace Votto’s current contract, so it will run from 2014-2023.
If the story is true, it’s the fourth biggest contract of all-time, surpassing Prince Fielder’s deal with the Tigers. Alex Rodriguez holds the top two places on the list, with Albert Pujols’ new $240 million deal in third place.
Joey Votto is under contract for $9.5 million this season and $17 million next season as part of an extension signed last winter, but Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Reds are close to signing the former MVP to a significantly longer extension.
According to Dierkes the new extension “could surpass $200 million” in total value, although the length and salary details aren’t known yet.
This offseason Prince Fielder, who’s 27 years old, signed a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Tigers and Albert Pujols, who’s 32 years old, inked a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels. Votto is 28 years old and has been every bit as productive as Fielder and Pujols during the past three seasons, hitting .318 with a .983 OPS during that time while leading the league in OPS in 2010 and on-base percentage in both 2010 and 2011.
This could mean the end of Brandon Phillips’ time in Cincinnati, as it’s hard to see the Reds having the money to keep the impending free agent second baseman around beyond this season if they’re throwing $200 million at Votto.
MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.
Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:
Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.
Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.
Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.
Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.