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Votto joins Blue Jays as non-roster invite

Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds Joey Votto - The Canadian Press

Canadian Joey Votto has agreed to join his hometown Toronto Blue Jays on a non-roster invite, the veteran first baseman confirmed Friday.

ESPN's Buster Olney was first to report Votto's deal. Votto then said on X that he was thankful to work his way back to the big leagues with the Blue Jays.

"I am excited about the opportunity to work my way back to the Major Leagues. It's even sweeter to attempt this while wearing the uniform of my hometown team, the Toronto Blue Jays," Votto said in reference to Olney's initial post.'s Keegan Matheson reports the deal is for $2 million should he made the roster and carries an additional $2 million in incentives.

The Toronto native has spent his entire 17-year MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds and expressed a desire to keep playing following the conclusion of his 10-year, $225 million deal that ended last season. Rumours connected Votto to his hometown team throughout the off-season but the winter progressed with Toronto bringing in a number of veteran free agents, none of them Votto until Friday. 

A shoulder injury limited Votto to 65 games with the Reds last season, where he slashed .202/.314/.433 with 14 home runs and 38 RBI. 

Now 40, Votto enjoyed one of his best seasons in years with the Reds in 2021, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 99 while slugging .563. But injuries hampered Votto the next two seasons, leading to a drop-off in power and batting average. 

All in all, Votto has made six All-Star Teams, won National League MVP in 2010 and has led the NL in on-base percentage seven different times. 

Votto was the No. 50 ranked player on TSN's Top 50 MLB free agents list released in November.