Reds fireballer Aroldis Chapman is a hot name on the trade market and could be moved during next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, but don’t expect first baseman Joey Votto to follow him out the door.
While the Reds appear to be going into rebuild-mode, Votto told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that he’s happy in Cincinnati and has no plans to waive his no-trade clause.
“I absolutely love playing here,” Votto said during Redsfest on Friday. “When all this trade stuff gets going, it’s natural for a player to have that thought process and what would you consider? I just absolutely love playing here. I really like where I live. I like my team and my job. I like the location of the ballpark and the fans and the clubhouse and the uniform and the number on my back — all the littlest things that people take for granted are very comfortable to me and something I look forward to. I don’t think of myself as anything other than a Cincinnati Red. It’s one of the really cool things about having a no-trade clause. I’m one of the rare players who has that. I get to stay a Cincinnati Red.
Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce have also been mentioned in trade rumors recently, so the Reds’ roster could look very different next season, but Votto said he admires players who stay with one team and “ride out the rough times and experience the highs.”
Even if Votto was open to a deal, it’s unclear what his market would be. The 32-year-old is still guaranteed $199 million over the next eight years, including a $7 million buyout of his $20 million club option for 2024. That’s a ton of money, even for someone who is coming off a monster bounceback season where batted .314 with a .459 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, and a 1.000 OPS.