Joey Votto says he is ready to start season in Triple-A, build up to joining Toronto Blue Jays roster

Photo credit:Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Joey Votto is arriving in Toronto and isn’t expecting to have anything handed to him.
Instead, the 40-year-old Torontonian says he is prepared to start the 2024 season in Triple-A and work his way back up to the big leagues.
“I feel excellent. I am pain-free. It is a joy,” Votto said to The Athletic Friday. “I think I can still bang.
“I am grateful that I am in tryout mode right now. This reminds me of when I was 18, flying down to Sarasota, Florida, to showcase and develop my skills as a new Cincinnati Red.”
“I need the time to prepare and resharpen my game,” Votto added. “A goal of mine is to be fully prepared the second I return to major league competition. The major league level is about execution.”
Votto’s behind the eight-ball so far, with the Jays having already completed the first two and a half weeks of Spring Training, which they’ve completed 13 with another 16 to go. His comments show his mindset, and what has made him one of baseball’s most respected players over his lengthy 17-year career with the Cincinnati Reds.
He doesn’t want the Blue Jays to gift him a spot in the Major Leagues. He said he had the potential to get that from other teams, or a similar non-roster contract from the Reds. Alternatively, he took the chance to sign with his hometown team and do whatever it takes to help.
“I have no expectations,” Votto told The Athletic. “I want to be a useful member of the roster that can bring a championship back to Toronto.”
Votto signed with the Jays on Friday afternoon, inking a non-roster deal worth $2-million carrying an equal amount in incentives. On Friday, the long-time slugger arrived in Dunedin to take his physical.
Skipper John Schneider’s mentality around bringing Votto on board? Well, it’s quite similar to Votto’s himself.
“It’s a cool story, but it’s not like: ‘Hey, Joey, come up to Canada and retire,’” he said, via MLB.com‘s Keegan Matheson. “There’s some real baseball stuff here, too. It’ll be cool to talk for a day or two about Joey in Toronto, but the baseball part is what we’re looking at.”

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.


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