Joey Votto’s $20 million US option for 2024 was declined Saturday by the Reds, making the first baseman and Etobicoke, Ont., native a free agent and possibly ending his career with Cincinnati after 17 seasons.
Club declines option in his contract; Ex-Blue Jay Stroman opts out of deal with Cubs
The Associated Press
Joey Votto’s $20 million US 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.
The Etobicoke, Ont., native will get a $7 million buyout, completing a contract that guaranteed $251.5 million over 12 seasons.
“At this point of the off-season, 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 honour him as one of the greatest baseball players of this or any generation.”
Votto, 40, hit .202 in 65 games this past season with 14 home runs and 38 runs batted in. 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 National League MVP, Votto has a .294 average with 356 homers and 1,144 RBI.
On Sunday, in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter), he said “if this is the last time I’ll play as a Cincinnati Red, I want to speak out loud my gratitude.”
Stroman leaves $21M US on table
Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman opted out of the final year of his contract, giving up a $21 million US salary for 2024.
Stroman, who signed a three-year contract in December 2021 worth $71 million, is 77-76 with a 3.65 earned-run average over nine seasons with Toronto, New York Mets and Cubs. He earned $50 million under what became a two-year deal.
Stroman went from dominating the first three months this past season and making his second all-star team to struggling through injuries the rest of the way. He finished with a 3.95 ERA in 25 starts and 27 appearances.
Stroman’s second season in Chicago took a bad turn when he left a start against St. Louis in London in late June because of a blister. He missed six weeks because of inflammation in his right hip and then a rib cartilage fracture, and wasn’t the same when he returned in mid-September.
“Love everything about Chicago,” Stroman posted in his Instagram story. “Grateful for the the Cubs organization. Thankful to have experienced Wrigley Field and the fanbase. The consistent energy was incredible. Life is a journey. Excited for whatever comes next!”