Reds decline $20M option on Joey Votto, possibly ending Cincinnati career after 17 seasons


CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto’s $20 million option for 2024 was declined Saturday by the Reds, making the first baseman a free agent and possibly ending his career with Cincinnati after 17 seasons.

Votto will get a $7 million buyout, completing a contract that guaranteed $251.5 million over 12 seasons.

Cincinnati also declined its part of a $4 million mutual option with catcher Curt Casali, who gets a $750,000 buyout.

“At this point of the offseason, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves,” general manager Nick Krall said in a statement. “He forever will be part of the Reds’ family, and at the appropriate time we will thank and honor him as one of the greatest baseball players of this or any generation.”

Votto, 40, hit .202 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs in 65 games this season. He didn’t play his first game until June 19, 10 months to the day after surgery on his left biceps and rotator cuff.

A six-time All-Star and the 2010 NL MVP, Votto has a .294 average with 356 homers and 1,144 RBIs.

Casali, 34, hit .175 with six RBIs over 50 games in his first season with the Reds. He is a 10-year big league veteran.



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