Olney: Reds' Votto values wearing the same uniform his whole career
Joey Votto has had a storied career with the Cincinnati Reds.
The 39-year-old first baseman has played his entire 16-season career with the Reds, slashing .297/.412/.513 while knocking in 1,106 RBIs in 1,991 career games.
The Canadian is a six-time all-star, won a Gold Glove in 2011, and took home the National League MVP in 2010.
But team success during Votto's time has been fleeting. The Reds have only made the playoffs four times, never winning a round.
With Votto nearing the end of his career and the Reds once again not projecting to be a playoff contender, Reds general manager Nick Krall told Jim Bowden of The Athletic that he would consider dealing the veteran to his hometown Blue Jays if he were to make that request.
However, ESPN's Buster Olney joined TSN1050 on Tuesday and he doesn't believe that situation is likely.
"My gut is [Votto] isn't someone who is going to embrace change," said Olney. "He's going to value having gone through who whole career wearing the same uniform."
"Every time I asked people in his camp, people in the Reds organization, and just having conversations with [Votto], everything I've ever gotten back is that he values playing for the Reds and wants to play his whole career there."
The other aspect of a possible deal to Toronto would be Votto's fit with the Blue Jays. Superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has entrenched himself as the starting first baseman and the Blue Jays signed veteran infielder Brandon Belt, who can DH and spell Guerrero Jr. at first, from the San Francisco Giants this off-season.
"The only way I could see this actually happening would be if Belt or Guerrero Jr. got hurt and were out for the year," said Olney. Otherwise, there's not really a place for [Votto]."
The Toronto native struggled last season both at the plate and with injuries. The future Hall of Famer batted .205 while hitting 11 home runs and 41 RBIs in only 91 games last season.
Olney believes that if any player can bounce back at this stage of his career, it would be Votto.
"When you talk about the possibility of a plyer being mind over matter in terms of overcoming age and making adjustments as you get older, [Votto] would be at the top of the list," said Olney. " So, I think he's going to have a good year."