CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty announces the signing of National League Most Valuable Player 1B Joey Votto to a 3-year contract extension through the 2013 season. Votto was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
"Neither side wanted to go through the arbitration process," Jocketty said. "We feel this contract is fair for the team and fair for a player who has become one of the best in baseball. Joey is at the center of that foundation of good, young players our organization has to rely on in order to be successful."
Votto, 27, said, "We're glad to get this behind us. I like the city of Cincinnati, and I enjoy playing there. Now I can concentrate on getting ready for the season. We're keeping together a strong core of young players, which should make us pretty competitive over the next few years."
"I think it gives me the opportunity to avoid arbitration and to also just concentrate on playing in the next three years," Votto said in a conference call. "It has absolutely nothing to do with getting to free agency or that, although a lot of people would interpret it that way. I can't imagine playing for another team right now."
Last season, Votto led the Major Leagues in on-base percentage (.424) and hitting on the road (.349) and led the NL in slugging percentage (.600), hitting vs RHP (.347), RBI ratio (4.8ab) and OPS (1.024). Among NL batters in the prestigious Triple Crown categories he ranked second in hitting (.324) and third in both homers (37) and RBI (113).
In one of the best seasons in franchise history, Votto became only the fourth Reds player to hit at least .320 with 37 HR and 113 RBI in a season, joining MVP George Foster in 1977, Frank Robinson in 1961 (MVP) & 1962 and Ted Kluszewski in 1954.
Votto received 31 of 32 first-place votes in the MVP voting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He also received the Hank Aaron Award as the National League's best hitter, was a National League All-Star and Sporting News All-Star and for the second time in 3 seasons was named the Reds' MVP in voting of the local BBWAA chapter.
In his native Canada, Votto was honored by 7 organizations for his outstanding MVP season and was ranked No. 1 in the Toronto Sun's 2010 list of most influential Canadians in baseball. Over the last 4 seasons, since his Major League debut, Votto's .314 batting average is eighth-highest among all Major League players.