Unlike the Edgar Renteria signing, Votto’s managed to be completed just one day after leaking onto the internets. That’s 3 days faster!
The deal covers all of Votto’s arbitration years, but surprisingly does not include any free agent years. Typically, at least one free agent year is included in deals like this. The Jay Bruce deal includes multiple free agent years. Votto would have been with the Reds anyway during that time, but signing a deal allows him to escape the arbitration years and make much closer to market-value each year, even if he has an off one. But what’s in it for the Reds? The only thing I’ve seen mentioned is the certainty of knowing how much Votto will actually cost. You know, to make the accountant’s math easier. As Mark Sheldon writes, “Cincinnati is getting the benefit of cost certainty for a key player whose price tag could really escalate if he backs up his MVP season with another spectacular year in ’11.”
The Reds will save some money over the course of the deal, assuming Votto continues his MVP-caliber ways. The details of how the $38 million is divided among the three years is yet to be divulged.