The Padres should take low-risk flier on legend Joey Votto

Jul 16, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) hits an RBI double against the Milwaukee Brewers during the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

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Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres are still in dire need of left-handed hitters. There is one still actively looking for work with a legendary track record.

Even with some positive developments in Spring Training already for the Padres, such as Jackson Merrill, plenty of question marks and roster holes remain.

With the retirement of Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto is now Major League Baseball’s active leader in hits, walks, and total bases. He is building a case to at least make a run at Hall of Fame induction when the time comes.

His .409 lifetime on-base percentage ranks higher than the likes of Hall of Famers Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Larry Walker, and Rickey Henderson. Over his career, he displayed an elite eye at the plate and rarely chased bad pitches.

In the last decade and a half, the Cincinnati Reds have been synonymous with Joey Votto and vice versa.

Hall of Famer or not, Votto has left his mark in the big leagues over his 17-year career. Not only is he one of the most disciplined hitters of this generation, but he is also an all-time character on and off the field.

Can someone give this poor man a job?

Yes, the all-time Reds great is still without a team in 2024.

The Padres are still without enough viable left-handed bats. Votto would fit nicely as a platoon designated hitter and occasional first baseman. Assuming Manny Machado is good to go at third base by the time the regular season begins, the Padres’ DH options are bleak.

After 2,135 hits over 17 years, the Toronto native is looking for a home, likely somewhere other than Cincinnati.

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Yes, Votto is not the same player he was when he finished at least top seven in NL MVP voting in six of eight years between 2010 and 2017, winning the award in 2010. The last two seasons, he has batted .204, with a .712 OPS and 93 OPS+. However, last year was a tick upward from a plagued 2022 campaign.

The 40-year-old still posted a barrel rate, chase rate, and walk rate above league average last season. There appears to be a little juice left in his iconic bat. At worst, he can provide some quality at-bats and work some walks while supplying occasional power.

The Padres would benefit from his veteran presence and pedigree. He would not be asked to take an everyday role and shoulder a significant burden of the franchise as those days are over. Yet the Padres are still in need of someone with Votto’s talents.

Only Jackson Merrill and Jake Cronenworth are true lefty hitters likely on the Opening Day roster as of now. Jurickson Profar contributes as a switch hitter.

Votto would help even out the disparity while bringing a potent bat on a likely very affordable deal.

2 thoughts on “The Padres should take low-risk flier on legend Joey Votto

  1. Are you forgetting taking flyer on TWO over the hill vets last yr?
    How well did that work?

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