Ex-NL MVP Joey Votto Agrees to Minor League Contract With the Blue Jays

Joey Votto with the Cincinnati Reds in 2022
Joey Votto with the Cincinnati Reds in 2022. Photo by Canadian Press/Shutterstock (12951053o)

Former NL MVP Joey Votto isn’t ready to call it quits just yet. Votto signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, his hometown team, and will be part of their Sprint Training roster.

Votto spent all of his previous 17 years in MLB with the Cincinnati Reds. He became a free agent after the 2023 campaign when the Reds rejected the club option on his contract that would pay him $20 million next season.

While many believed that the release by the Reds would likely cause him to retire, Votto publicly stated on several occasions that he wanted to play again. He played in 65 games last season, batting a career-low .202 with 14 homers and 38 RBIs.

“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 wrote on social media after the news broke out.

During his 17 years in Cincinnati, Joey Votto became the Reds’ legend. He was the franchise’s best player for years, earning six All-Star nods and being named NL MVP in 2010. However, he was unable to lead the Reds to postseason success, as the franchise is still looking for its first playoff series win since 1995.