Word's out now that the Cincinnati Reds are close to signing Joey Votto to a long-term contract extension. Everybody's talking about it - at least, everybody was talking about it before the Matt Cain contract extension news broke - and it's easy to forget that it all started with a scoop from MLB Trade Rumors. Way to go, MLB Trade Rumors!
So it looks like something's getting done. There isn't much in the way of available details, but here's Jon Heyman with something in case you're desperately thirsty for knowledge:
hearing votto deal is for 10 years. i believe that is 10 total, including the 2 he has on existing deal. #reds— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 2, 2012
Per the terms of an existing contract, Votto's making $9.5 million in 2012, and $17 million in 2013. There's also some signing-bonus money in there. Heyman's source apparently suggests that the Reds will sign Votto through 2021. Albert Pujols is also signed through 2021. Prince Fielder is signed through 2020. I'm mentioning these guys because I think I'm obligated to mention these guys when writing about Joey Votto.
Votto's 28, which means that, if he's signed through 2021, he'll be 38 at the end. That's an age by which pretty much all players have begun declining. But of course, the Reds would be most interested in what Votto could do over the next several years, and by the end of such a potential contract, who the hell knows what advances we might have made? They could have a Tommy John surgery for bad knees or slowing swings. I'm pretty sure that we're about 15 years away from athletes being immortal so neither Votto nor the Reds should worry too much about the future right now.