Cardinals: Re-ranking the worst contracts in the NL Central
By Josh Jacobs
3. Joey Votto
The 2010 National League MVP has been a staple of the Reds since his first full season in 2008, leading to a 10 year, $225 million extension in 2014 for the first baseman.
Despite the Reds fall from grace in recent years, Votto has quietly remained one of the best hitters in baseball until this season. In 2021, he posted a .938 OPS and finished 16th in the MVP voting. In 2022 though, he’s slashing .205/.319/.370 with 11 HR and 41 RBI in 91 games for the last place Reds.
While Votto has the pure hitting ability and experience to be a capable hitter in 2023, his $25 million salary is just far too much for what he can offer at this point in his career. The Reds will likely have him play out his last year of his deal before declining his club option in 2024, unless they decide to eat a large chunk of his salary in a trade.
It is pretty impressive how long Votto was able to remain a valuable player, but it is clear that he is now finally past his prime and declining rapidly.