Cincinnati Reds All-Star and 2010 National League MVP Joey Votto doesn't seem too happy with his current situation.
Earlier this week, he voiced his displeasure with the Reds after a miserable start to the season has them holding the worst record in the National League at 15-29. That start included a 3-18 opening to 2018, the worst opening stretch encountered by the Reds in franchise history, which dates back to 1882.
He didn't hold back either when airing out his grievances:
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"There are so many people that are losing interest in our organization — and deservedly so. It hasn't been a fun time to be a Cincinnati Reds fan. Not often does a player get to speak the way I'm speaking right now because my role is to do my job on the field and pretty much zip my lips, which makes sense. But in the same breath, I've been with this franchise for, I think, 17 years now (drafted in 2002). You can say things are business, but to be honest with you, I was a kid when I signed with this franchise, I take it personally. This is a personal thing to me. People inside the organization in all likelihood are not going to enjoy my responses. But it's been disappointing."
While he's stated in the past that he doesn't wish to be traded, those comments raise the question of just how genuine his wish to stay in Cincinnati forever is. It's not like he's had an abundance of success with the Reds.
In 12 years with the organization, Votto has made the postseason three times despite numbers that could earn him a ticket to the Baseball Hall of Fame one day. All three playoff appearances were rather quick ones, too, as Cincinnati has a 2-7 record in the postseason with Votto.
At 34 years old, Votto is still a productive player and possesses one of the most disciplined bats in baseball. His .313 career batting average ranks third among active players and his .428 on-base percentage ranks first.
While there has been an expected dip in his production considering he's on the wrong side of his career, Votto has still been plenty productive on a bad Reds team this year, slashing .289/.414/.441 with six home runs and 24 RBI.
He very well could spend the rest of his playing days in Cincinnati considering he's signed through the 2023 season, where he will make $25 million per year with a club option in 2024. But the Reds might want to right by their star and deal him to a contender in order to spark a legitimate rebuild.
This is where the New York Mets could come in as potential suitors considering they have received little to no production at first base this year.
Veteran Adrian Gonzalez, who was brought in on the league minimum this winter, and has been inconsistent, slashing .258/.333.433 with five home runs and 20 RBI. His backup, utility infielder Wilmer Flores, has struggled to get anything going at the plate this year as he's batting just .229 with three home runs and seven RBI.
The Mets are averaging 4.26 runs per game, which is below the MLB average. Bringing in a professional, patient hitter like Votto and placing him in a lineup where he'll get protection from Yoenis Cespedes (when healthy), Todd Frazier (when healthy) and Jay Bruce, could see Votto improve even further on his productive numbers this year and add some further weapons to the middle of New York's lineup.