Found June 19, 2013 on Fox Sports:
PLAYERS: Joey Votto
TEAMS: Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds didn't make Joey Votto the richest player in the franchise's history for nothing. When the Reds gave Votto a 10-year, $225 million extension on April 4, 2012, it was a sign they believe he's a Hall of Fame-caliber player. The recent numbers back up the Reds' beliefs in the talented slugger, who bats third in the Reds lineup. Votto has led the National League in on-base percentage three years in a row and currently leads the NL this season at .418 (through June 17). It helps that he's been walked 348 times since the start of 2010. The Canadian-born first baseman, who won the NL MVP in 2010 (.324, 37 homers and 113 RBI), hasn't batted below .297 in his six-plus years in the majors. He owns a .317 career batting average with 145 homers and 491 RBI, and he features a .418 on-base percentage and a .549 slugging percentage ... ... and he doesn't turn 30 until Sept. 10. At that age and with those numbers, the Reds hope Votto is worth the investment. "We recognize the historical significance of this signing," Reds president and general manager Walt Jocketty said the day Cincinnati announced Votto's windfall in 2012. "Ownership has committed to Joey, and we anticipate that he will continue to be one of the best players in baseball for the next decade or so." Votto is making $17 million this season under his previous contract. The extended 10-year deal pays $12 million next season, $14 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016, $22 million in 2017 and $25 million in each of the following six seasons. There is a club option of $20 million with a $7 million buyout in 2024. Among active major leaguers, Votto ranks first in on-base percentage and sixth in batting average and slugging percentage. He's a three-time All-Star, including the start at first base last year, and a one-time Gold Glove winner (2011). On the Reds' all-time leaderboard, he's first in on-base, second in slugging, fourth in batting average and 10th in at-bats per homer (19.8). By the time Votto's contract ends, it will be interesting to see where his statistics rank with the best of all time ... and if they'll be good enough for a Hall of Fame induction. Watch the above video to hear more of his case.
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