Friday, May 4, 2018

No Way, Jo-ey (Votto)



The New York Yankees are one of the hotter teams in Major League Baseball right now, but as I have said in the past here on the blog, the team has the potential to be even better. The team is getting healthier by the day as we await the returns of Brandon Drury, Clint Frazier and others and the offense and pitching are finally starting to click. The team is not perfect by any means and they will likely need reinforcements at the July 31st trade deadline in some capacity, but the Yankees have to be smart about who they add to this team nucleus. I have heard “rumors” and opinions of who the Yankees should trade and who the Yankees should try to acquire but I think the biggest head scratcher of them all was the rumor that had the Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto coming to the Bronx. No way, Jo-ey Votto, and no thank you. 

This one was an easy one, although it is apparently not as blatantly obvious to some as it is to others why the New York Yankees should not acquire Votto. First and foremost, the team spent all winter not only trying to improve but trying to improve while still getting under the luxury tax threshold. The team is well under the threshold and will have some money to spend here in July at the deadline, but the team doesn’t have Joey Votto money. Votto signed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds back in 2012 for 12-years and a whopping $251.5 million, equating to an Average Annual Value (AAV) of roughly $21 million per season. Votto has six seasons of that deal left including the team option for the 2024 season and a total of $145 million remaining (AAV of $24 million). If the Yankees paid the exuberant price in terms of prospects for Votto and acquired him the team would be well over the luxury tax threshold and would continue to not only pay .50 cents on the dollar for every free agent dollar they spent next offseason, but the team would also potentially run the risk of being affected in the MLB First Year Player Draft and the international signing period. Not worth it. 

It is especially not worth it when the team already has a viable, albeit injury prone, first baseman of the future in Greg Bird. Believe in him, don’t believe in him, call him the next Carl Pavano (minus about $40 million which is what made the Pavano signing hurt, not the injuries, but I digress), do whatever you want to do but the one thing you cannot do is give up on a first baseman with that much potential that is in his Age 25 season. And no, before anyone chimes in, you cannot trade Bird right now either. I mean, you could, but the same reasons anyone would want to trade him would be the same reasons other teams either wouldn’t want him or would low ball the Yankees for his services. I’m not willing to block him, nor am I willing to just give him away. Again, he is just 25-years old.  

Speaking of age, Votto is 34-years old and will be 35-years old by seasons end. Sure, Votto is great and that bat inside Yankee Stadium would be something that legends and movies are made of… for now. Maybe for a few seasons, but Votto is potentially signed through his age 40 season and into his age 41 season. Remember Alex Rodriguez? No thanks.

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