Blue Jays make Joey Votto's wish come true, sign him to minor league deal

The sad social media posts can finally come to an end!

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) is recognized by the crowd before his first at-bat of
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) is recognized by the crowd before his first at-bat of / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

All offseason long, living legend Joey Votto has sat on the free agent market without a deal coming together. The long-time Cincinnati Reds star failed to latch on with a team as spring training kicked off, which has led to some masterful usage of social media by Votto himself.

The 40-year-old is a Toronto native and has had his name in the Blue Jays' rumor mill for months now. All along, the fit has not really been there on paper, but a deal has officially come together. According to ESPN's Buster Olney (X link), the Blue Jays have signed Votto a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp.

Votto, a six-time All-Star and former NL MVP, has experienced a bit of a dropoff in his offensive production in recent years. Last year, he made it into just 65 games, hitting 14 home runs and driving in 38 with an OPS+ of 99. While those are still respectable numbers, he is clearly no longer the player he once was - and really, who would be at the age of 40?

Now, the 17-year veteran is going to have to compete with the likes of Daniel Vogelbach for a spot on the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster. "Vogey" has been a huge run-producer for the Jays early on in spring, hitting a pair of home runs (including one off of Gerrit Cole that made headlines) and currently sporting an OPS north of 1.000 through 7 games. Since Vogelbach already has a head start over Votto, the former likely has a leg up over the latter for an Opening Day bench spot.

Either way, we're talking about a future Hall of Famer here. The left-handed Votto is leads all active players in hits, walks and total bases and had been an elite player for so long. He has over 2,000 hits and over 350 home runs, north of 1,100 RBI and a career .920 OPS. While he may not be the player he once was, he had one hell of a peak and at his best was one of the most durable players in the game. He's got a spot in Cooperstown waiting for him one day.

Regardless of how exactly the fit is going to work out, this is a huge feel-good move for both the Blue Jays and Votto. The deal brings a Canadian to his hometown squad, even if it's just for a brief stint in spring, and finally gives Votto a reason to smile on social media. Hopefully the next post we see from him is in a Jays uniform and all will be right in the world.