An intriguing report from ESPN’s Buster Olney:
Rival executives getting signals that the Reds won’t shop Joey Votto — but that they are fully prepared to listen to offers.
Votto is owed a bargain $9.5 million salary in 2012, but that number jumps sharply to $17 million in 2013 and the Canadian-born first baseman will be a free agent heading into 2014. If the Reds are already resigned to the fact that they won’t be able to afford a long-term extension, they might as well get max value for Votto before he gets a whiff of the open market.
Votto batted .309 with a .947 OPS, 29 home runs and 103 RBI in 161 games this season. He posted a 1.024 OPS, 37 home runs and 113 RBI over 150 games in 2010 to earn National League MVP honors.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.