We knew that Joey Votto had signed a ten-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds worth $225 million. We knew that Votto was getting a no-trade clause as part of the deal. Now, courtesy of C. Trent Rosecrans, we get the yearly salary breakdown. Votto was already under contract through 2013. After that:
2014: $12 million
2015: $14 million
2016: $20 million
2017: $22 million
2018: $25 million
2019: $25 million
2020: $25 million
2021: $25 million
2022: $25 million
2023: $25 million
2024: $20 million option ($7 million buyout)
That's pretty substantially back-loaded. To a point. It was like they intended to back-load, so they back-loaded until they got tired, and then they just stayed at $25 million. It's hard to blame them, because that's a lot of years.
What the Reds might be thinking is that they'll be better able to afford an expensive Joey Votto several years down the road. For whatever it's worth, the team's Opening Day payroll in 2002 was $45 million. In 2011, it was $81 million. So, yeah, it makes sense. With inflation and then assumed TV contract revenue, the Reds'll be paying Votto more as they're bringing more in.
Interestingly, Votto will make less in 2014 and 2015 than he will in 2013. Albert Pujols' long-term contract also starts at $12 million. Prince Fielder's is not really back-loaded. There's an opening here for a fat joke that I wish I didn't just acknowledge.