Joey Votto‘s contract with the Cincinnati Reds is in Alex Rodriguez territory. Whether or not any of us agree with the large sums of money professional athletes are paid, is moot at this point. With concern to Votto, is the career .313 hitter worth the money?
Aside from the fact I would encourage my son to become a baseball player instead of a wide receiver, having such contracts is bad business. Unless the market in which your team exists is New York, Boston, or possibly Los Angeles, the financial handicap the Reds management is placing on the organization should be of concern to Red’s fans. What if Votto gets hurt? What if the inevitable deterioration of skills, that affects all players, begins sooner rather than later. Alex Rodriguez provides a good case study. Since 2007, A-Rod’s average steadily declined: 2007-.314; 2008-.302; 2009-.286; 2010-.270. In 2011 his average went up to .276 but he only played in 99 games. I would speculate his average, had he played at least 124 games (A-Rod played in 124 games in 2009. This constituted the fewest games played in his MLB career aside from 2011’s 99 games) would’ve been lower.
Comparing players to A-Rod, can prove to be an inherently unfair comparison. My concern over Votto’s deal is the limitations the Red’s may face in acquiring other talent. Again, few clubs can sustain a potential hit to a player with such a large contract. Cincinnati is not one of those clubs. In the ultimate scheme of professional sports, players and their agents get what they can negotiate. Do I believe Votto is good? Without question. Do I believe he’s worth the $225 million the Red’s are giving him, no. I simply feel the potential for a bad baseball business practice is too great. I hope Votto and the Red’s prove me wrong.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!
Statistical data from espn.go.com.