Revisiting the Joey Votto to the Blue Jays trade rumor

Colorado Rockies v Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies v Cincinnati Reds / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

At one point this past offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays were hot on the rumor mill that they could trade for veteran Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto.

Three months ago, the dawn of an exciting new season was almost upon us, Reds General Manager Nick Krall, caused a firestorm of excitement and speculation when he mentioned Votto could potentially be part of a trade to the Blue Jays.

The terms of the hypothetical swap were very particular. If the Reds, NL Central cellar dwellers over the past two seasons, were out of contention by the trade deadline and Votto requested a trade back home (he’s from Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto), Krall would consider it.

It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the small-market franchise. On May 23rd, they were 20-28 and in last place in their division. Since that date, they’ve gone 19-7 and are in the top spot. For comparison, the Jays' record over that span has been 14-12.

The resurgent Reds have silenced any recent speculation that Votto could be Toronto-bound. The fact that the veteran first baseman can be a steadying force on a young, contending team isn’t the only reason this Canadian baseball fan’s dream is unlikely to come true.

Brandon Belt recovered from a dreadful start to hit .323 with ten doubles, three homers, and a .979 OPS in 31 games from May 1st to June 10th. The 35-year-old has proven to be a valuable signing and has filled the occasional first base/designated hitter role admirably. Cavan Biggio has played well in limited action at first base, and Spencer Horwitz has impressed since being called up. 

Trading Votto doesn’t make sense for the Reds, and the chatter created by Krall’s quote, seemingly still possible four weeks ago, has died. As exciting as the imagination of the homecoming story would be, the Jays have more pressing needs, and it looks like he’ll be unavailable anyways. 

Joey Votto is a Canadian treasure, and the prospect of him playing in some big games this season, even if it’s with the only team he’s ever known, is a gift to baseball fans.