Joey Votto announces deal with Blue Jays: “It’s even sweeter to attempt this while wearing the uniform of my hometown team”

Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
A Canadian legend is joining the Toronto Blue Jays.
On Friday afternoon, Buster Olney reported that Joey Votto had agreed to a non-roster deal with the Blue Jays.
Minutes later, Joey Votto himself confirmed the report, stating that he’s excited about working his way on a major league roster, and even more so to do it for his hometown team.
It was reported by MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson that Votto signed for $2 million, with an opportunity to add an addition $2 million through incentives. Of course, he’d have to make the team first.
For his career, Votto is slashing .294/.409/.511 with 356 homers in 8746 plate appearances for a 58.3 fWAR and a 145 wRC+. He has spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds after being drafted in the second-round by them in the 2002 draft.
Votto, now 40 years old, is a Hall of Famer. Just two seasons ago, the first baseman slashed .266/.375/.563 with 36 home runs in 533 plate appearances, along with a 14.4 BB% and 23.8 K% for a 140 wRC+.
However, Votto has shown some decline in the past two seasons, slashing .205/.319/.370 with 11 homers in 376 plate appearances in 2022. The following season, Votto slashed .202/.314/.433 with 14 homers in 242 plate appearances after coming back from a shoulder injury.
According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, general manager Ross Atkins had this to say last season at the general manager meetings:
“Incredible player, remarkable career. Just massive impact in the community if he were to be a Toronto Blue Jay. So definitely something that we would have to consider if that was something he wanted to pursue”
Votto is a fun signing, his personality is great and in his prime, he was one of the best players in the league, but this move doesn’t really make sense. First base is occupied by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who’ll play the majority of the games at the position. While the Jays don’t have a backup first baseman officially, Spencer Horwitz and Daniel Vogelbach are jockeying for the left-handed batter/designated hitter role.
Vogelbach has the leg up right now, as he’s hit two home runs this spring, with one coming against the reigning American League Cy Young winner. Moreover, the designated hitter role is likely going to be occupied by Justin Turner, Toronto’s big position player signing this off-season. There is a case that Votto has an excellent baseball mind and brings leadership to the dugout, but he has less than three weeks to show the team his 2022 and 2023 seasons were just unlucky.
At the end of the day, Votto’s tenure as a Blue Jay may be brief, as there’s a lot of competition that already has a leg up on him. However, it’s nice of the Jays to give the hometown future Hall of Famer a shot. But who knows, maybe, just maybe, he finds his pre-2022 form.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.


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