Tag:Joey Votto
Posted on: December 14, 2010 6:22 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:15 pm

5 Questions (or more) with Jay Bruce

Jay Bruce The Reds announced a six-year contract extension with Jay Bruce on Tuesday. Bruce, who won't turn 24 until April, is the proud owner of a $51 million contract.

The five questions (or more) is something our football brethren have been doing for a while (check it out here ), and we thought you might enjoy a baseball version. The Reds held a news conference on Tuesday for Bruce and CBSSports.com's Facts & Rumors blogger C. Trent Rosecrans caught up with Bruce afterward.

1. CBSSports.com: So, at the end of this contract (even if you include the team option for 2017), you'll still be younger than Jayson Werth was this year…

Bruce: (Laughs) Yeah, you know I paid a little bit of attention to that. We're just starting this one. It's something that takes care of itself. Winning takes care of it too. If you win, everyone's going to be happy and excited to play. I'm just really excited about this.

2. CBS: Speaking of winning, how many times have you watched that home run to clinch the division?

Bruce: I've seen it a lot. Whether I've watched it, seeked it out, that's different. It was a great moment.

CBS: You still get chills?

Bruce: Absolutely. It was a great moment for me and a great moment for the Cincinnati Reds fans. Those people, it's been thin around here for a few years, but we're bringing back a good tradition. There's such tradition here in Cincinnati, I'm just happy to be part of the revival.

CBS: There's a YouTube clip from someone right behind home plate, have you seen it?

Bruce: I've seen that. That's pretty surreal. It's cool they got it and they were sitting there to see it.

CBS: I think they even called it.

Bruce: I've talked to a bunch of people who say they've called it.

CBS: Did you?

Bruce: No, I was just trying to hit the ball hard.

3. CBS: When you talk about contracts like this, there are people who say you left money on the table, how do your react to that?

Bruce: You know what? It's not a true statement because you don't know what you're going to put on the table or take off the table. I plan on leaving money on the table, I plan on outperforming this contract, because that would probably mean I'm playing well and we're winning here in Cincinnati. I'll tell you what, yeah, OK, say I left money on the table, you're talking a ridiculous… it's an absurd amount. It's not bad what I took from the table. I plan on outperforming it, that's the best case for me, leaving money on the table. I'll make it up in the long run and it's not a big deal. The money took care of itself, the money's going to be there. It's just a blast.

CBS: It's kinda stupid seeing those kind of numbers…

Bruce: It is; it doesn't feel real. I'm going to take it a day at a time and enjoy it. There's a lot of doors that will open from that.

CBS: Have you splurged on anything yet?

Bruce: No. I have everything I need.

CBS: What do you drive?

Bruce: I have a truck and a [BMW] 7 series. I keep my truck at home and I take my 7 series through the season.

CBS: That's nice

Jay Bruce Bruce: Absolutely. People think I'm getting this big $51 million check, like Happy Gilmore. It's not how it is. There's some planning that goes into that.  You still have to be a normal person, you can't get too ahead of yourself. If I tend to this money correctly, as I know I will, there won't be any worries for me and my family for the rest of my life.

4. CBS: This game has a way of humbling you, so I guess that's not too tough. You can look at the Phillies, who swept you guys last year, and you add Cliff Lee. What does that make you think when you saw that?

Bruce: That's four legitimate aces they have over there. But to be the best, you have to beat the best. We're going to go out there and play those guys like we've always played them. We can beat them, we didn't last year, and we have to prove that to people. I'm obviously a huge believer that we can. I'm not worried about it.

5. CBS: One last thing, I know you and Joey [Votto] always competed with numbers throughout the minors, do you still do that?

Bruce: Absolutely. Joey, he's been tremendous, obviously. I think there's always been a sense of competitiveness between us -- that's just us and people on this team. But yes, I aspire to be the hitter Joey is -- who doesn't? He's the MVP of the league. Joey's done such a great job with all aspects of this game and his life, to go through what he's gone through and be where he is, is truly amazing. I consider Joey one of my better friends. It's really excited to have gotten to watch him.

Bonus question: Another reporter asked Bruce about MVP Joey Votto's desire to stay long-term, and Votto's comments earlier this month about not thinking about a long-term contract with the Reds or anybody. Here's what Bruce had to say: "I think people are construing it a little differently than it really is. Joey doesn't want to leave here. He told me last night, I don't what to go anywhere, I love Cincinnati and I want to be here. What people have to understand is Joey and I are in a different situation. He's almost four years older than me. Joey wants to be here. He doesn't want to go anywhere. For people to think he does is not the right thought."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 10, 2010 1:15 pm

What does Bruce deal mean for Votto?

Joey Votto
Jay Bruce, four years from free-agent eligibility, has been locked up by the Reds for six years (with an option for a seventh).

That has Reds fans wondering whether the team's next move is to try to extend National League MVP Joey Votto, who is three years from free agency. He could get an extension similar to what Adrian Gonzalez, a year away from free agency, is getting ready to sign with the Red Sox.

The trouble is, from Votto's perspective, it doesn't make sense to sign long-term -- especially after seeing the contract Carl Crawford just signed. Even if the Reds offer Votto big money, nobody can predict how ridiculous the market will have gotten by 2014. He knows he's going to get the most possible money -- from the Reds or someone else -- when he has the most possible suitors. And if you read these recent comments by Votto, it doesn't sound like he's interested in limiting his options or giving Cincinnati a hometown discount.

Probably the best the Reds can hope for is a multi-year deal that covers some or all of Votto's pre-free agency years, like the two-year contract Prince Fielder signed with the Brewers. It would give the Reds cost certainty, which they don't have with arbitration, and protect Votto in case his performance falls off a cliff.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 4, 2010 2:27 pm

Votto not long for Cincinnati?

Joey Votto Is the Adrian Gonzalez trade a preview of what's to come in Cincinnati after the 2012 season?

National League MVP Joey Votto, who won't be a free agent until after the 2013 season, didn't sound like he was ready to commit to a long-term deal when he talked to reporters at the team's RedsFest on Saturday in Cincinnati.

When asked if he wanted to stay in Cincinnati long-term, Votto was non-committal.

"I don't know as far as beyond three years. I think it's a real unfair question to ask," Votto said (from MLB.com's Mark Sheldon ). "This is not me saying I don't want to be here. But last year was a difficult year for me. This year was a better year for me. It's really hard for me to think three years ahead, five years ahead, seven years ahead or 10 years ahead. When [Troy] Tulowitzki signed that 10-year contract [with the Rockies], I was blown away. I can't imagine seeing myself 10 years from now saying I want to be here. It's an overwhelming thing to ask a young person like myself and say 'here's a lot of money. Be happy with this over 10 years, deal with it.'"

Votto, who is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, said he's not worried about the contract talks. He said it's unfair to even categorize what's gone down as contract talks, he's been tendered a contract so far, and that's about it.

When asked about signing a hometown discount, Votto doesn't appear to have interest in that.

"I'm not going to disrespect the people ahead of me that paved the way for those types of earnings and the people behind me that expect a certain amount or fair value," he said. "I don't want to hurt the people behind me. That's not fair."

Mark Teixeira is signed through 2016 and Gonzalez is expected to get a long-term contract, so he may not have the Yankees and Red Sox to use as leverage when that time comes, so there's your one little nugget for optimism, Reds fans.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 3:33 pm

Breaking down Tulowitzki's payday

Troy Tulowitzki
Not included in the original report of the monster extension signed by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was the fact that it includes an option year -- in 2021. After games in 2021, I assume Tulowitzki will go home in his flying car and have a nice meal of soylent green.

The option is for $14 million, which the Rockies are banking won't be very much money then. Here are the specific details of the contract, as reported by Buster Olney of ESPN.com:

*2011: $5.5 million
*2012: $8.25 million
*2013: $10 million
2014: $16 million
2015: $20 million
2016: $20 million
2017: $20 million
2018: $20 million
2019: $20 million
2020: $14 million, plus $6 million in incentives
2021: $14 million option with $6 million in incentives, or $4 million buyout
* covered under previous contract

That's $163 million guaranteed between now and the end of the deal, with a total max value of $179.75 million. According to Wikipedia, that would be the sixth-largest sports contract in history (technically it doesn't count, though, because three of the years were part of his old deal).

It also will set precedent for future long-term deals. The Reds would love to lock up Joey Votto, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talked to someone with the Reds who said a $20 million per year deal is impossible under their payroll structure.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 2:19 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:29 pm

Hamilton runs away with AL MVP

Josh Hamilton wins the American League MVP, and while it wasn't quite the landslide that Joey Votto's NL victory was, it wasn't close, either.

Hamilton collected 22 of the 28 first-place votes, had four second-place votes and two fourth-place votes for a total of 358 points. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was second, finishing with five first-place votes and 262 overall points. Robinson Cano was third (229) and Toronto's Jose Bautista was fourth with one first-place vote and 165 total points.

Josh Hamilton Here's the final voting
Josh Hamilton, Rangers 358
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers 262
Robinson Cano, Yankees 229
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays 165
Paul Konerko, White Sox, 130
Evan Longoria, Rays 100
Carl Crawford, Rays 98
Joe Mauer, Twins 97
Adrian Beltre, Red Sox 83
Delmon Young, Twins 44
Vladimir Guerrero, Rangers 22
Rafael Soriano, Rays 21
CC Sabathia, Yankees 13
Shin-Soo Choo, Indians 9
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 8
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 6
Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners 3
Jim Thome, Twins 2
Joakim Soria, Royals 1
Mark Teixeira, Yankees 1

An interesting note, both of the MVPs made their debut for the Reds in 2007, Hamilton on opening day and Votto after rosters expanded in September. The Reds traded Hamilton after the 2007 season to the Rangers for pitcher Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 22, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 5:28 pm

Votto: 'Freakin' awesome' to beat Pujols

Joey Votto
Newly crowned National League MVP Joey Votto just completed a conference call with reporters, and seemed humbled but not overwhelmed. He said he didn't follow his numbers or how they stacked up against others during the season, but did take a look after it ended and said he and Albert Pujols were pretty equally worthy of the award.

"I think it's a toss-up, as close as it could get," he said. "I beat him in batting average, but I think we all know batting average is an overrated statistic. He beat me in homers and RBI. But I stole bases, I got on base -- I think I led all of baseball in on-base [percentage]. And I think I led the NL in slugging.

"The most important thing is that [the Reds won the division] ... all together, those are the reasons I won. That being said, it's pretty freakin' awesome to beat Albert Pujols for the MVP."

Votto is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and is going to get a very, very large raise from the $525,000 he made in 2010. Best guess is he could be in the neighborhood of $7-8 million, with two more years of arbitration eligibility ahead. The Reds would be prudent to try to buy out those years, but Votto said he's had no discussions about a long-term deal.

"We haven't had any talks at all," he said. "I'd have to see figures and years and all that, so I couldn't even comment [about the possibility]. I don't want to be peppered with contract stuff all offseason, because that's not free time. There's a time and a place for contract stuff.

"Right now I'm just kind of enjoying being the NL MVP, honestly."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:15 pm

One MVP vote, deconstructed

Joey Votto It seems we have better ways of measuring value than we have of defining it when it comes to baseball nowadays.

There are, of course, WAR (wins above replacement) and RAR (runs above replacement) and WPA (win probability added) and a ton of others that are out there or even in development now. Of course, even if you pick one you like, such as WAR, there are different formulas; the two great statistical websites of the day, FanGraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com, differ on how they calculate WAR.

And in the end, what does it mean? What defines value? Does a player have to not only help his team win, but do you put more emphasis on those players whose teams ultimately win more? And how much of that is due to that player or his teammates?

Is the MVP vote for the best player or the most outstanding or the most valuable?

I'd always wondered these things, and now I actually had to come up with an answers, as I voted for the MVP for the first time this year. I'd voted previously for the Cy Young, but not the MVP.

The actual ballot -- which was e-mailed to me -- has these rules, the same that were written on the first ballot in 1931:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

That doesn't help all that much, it leaves it open to interpretation and debate, which makes it quite fun.

It's also noted on my ballot that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters. Voting for the National League, I don't have to worry about the DH, but not that offense and defense are noted on the ballot rules.

The only statistic mentioned on the MVP ballot is games played, and that hurts a starting pitcher.  

There are those who see the Cy Young as a pitcher's award and the MVP as a position player's award. I'm not one of those. But I do find it difficult to put a starter in the same category. As you'll see in my ballot, I do have two starting pitchers in my Top 10. Both had outstanding seasons and were among the most valuable players in the league, though I'm not sure they had the same value as an everyday player.

In the end, I'm not sure there's a right answer. That's why 31 other people vote and we try to come up with a consensus, not just on an MVP but also on what the MVP means.

Albert Pujols In researching my vote, I made a spreadsheet with more than 30 players, and categories including WAR (both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference), OPS, OPS+, HR, UZR, games played, ERA, WHIP, xFIP and others. There were more I could use and in the end, I'm not sure any of these made the difference, I just liked seeing them all in front of me. I also did further research on a final list of 20, before whittling it down to about 12 and ranking them. I also talked to players, managers, coaches, scouts and other writers.

You might not agree with my ballot, but I hope you do realize I take this very seriously and put a lot of thought and work into it. With that said, here are the 10 players I turned into the BBWAA on my ballot and a little reasoning.  

1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati -- Votto had an outstanding season offensively and has continued to improve defensively. He also helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, no small feat.

2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis -- Consistently the best player in the game. It says something that in what is somewhat of an "off" season for him, Pujols is still as good as anyone and a worthy candidate for winning the MVP. Votto edged Pujols in just about every stat besides home runs and RBI.

3. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego -- Another first baseman with a great season. Gonzalez had much less around him than either Votto or Pujols, yet still put up great numbers and nearly led his team to the playoffs.

4. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado -- Tulowitzki gets dinged a bit for games played, but when he did play, he was incredible. He's a great defensive player, and maybe one of the best all-around in the game.

5. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado -- Gonzalez pushed at the triple crown, but his home/road splits were drastic -- just like his team, which was 52-29 at home and 31-50 on the road.

6. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia -- the unanimous selection for the Cy Young Award speaks for itself.

7. Matt Holliday, St. Louis -- Cardinals fans seemed to have something against the guy (well, maybe his huge contract), but he ended up with a spectacular season.

8. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis -- had a lower ERA than Halladay and his WHIP was just a tick higher.

9. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington -- like Tulowitzki, one of the best all-around players in the game. His defense gives him a boost in WAR, because he's that good.

10. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco -- Huff had a quiet great season -- until the playoffs. Remember, these votes were due before the playoffs, but he was very good even before the postseason began.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:51 am

MLB Facts & Rumors National League MVP

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their National League Most Valuable Player selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth 14 points, second place nine, third place eight and so forth, with 10th place getting one point.

Albert Pujols has won three MVPs, including the last two. Pujols led the league in home runs (42) and RBI (118) and picked up both he Silver Slugger and Gold Glove at first base, but he certainly has a challenger at the same position in his very own division in Cincinnati's Joey Votto, who led the league in on-base percentage (.424) and slugging (.600) (and therefore, OPS as well). He also led his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

There's also Carlos Gonzalez, who like Pujols and Votto, flirted with the Triple Crown, and ended up winning the batting title with a .336 average.

So, how did the Facts & Rumors team see the NL MVP race? Well, here you go.


Joey Votto David Andriesen
1. Joey Votto, Reds
2. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
4. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
5. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
6. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
7. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
8. Aubrey Huff, Giants
9. Ryan Braun, Brewers
10. Dan Uggla, Marlins

How crazy is it that Albert Pujols can lead the league in home runs and RBI, put up an OPS of 1.011, and be seen as having an “off” year? That’s how high the bar is for that guy. I’ll have no problem with it if he wins his third consecutive MVP, I just think Votto was a hair better. The guy led the league in on-base percentage AND slugging percentage. And you can’t say his number are a product of the hitter-friendly ballpark in Cincinnati, because he hit 52 points better on the road than at home.

Evan Brunell
1. Joey Votto, Reds
2. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
3. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
4. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
5. Brian McCann, Braves
6. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
7. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
8. Dan Uggla, Marlins
9. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
10. Andres Torres, Giants

Votto was transcendent, cracking the .400 OBP and .600 slugging percentage barrier and somehow outperforming Albert Pujols in virtually every category. The aborted chase for the Triple Crown was also fun while it lasted.

C. Trent Rosecrans
I voted for the NL MVP and the BBWAA asks voters not to release their ballots before the voting is announced, so I won't reveal my ballot yet. I will, however, post it and some of my thinking on Nov. 22 after the award is announced.

MLB Facts and Rumors National League Most Valuable Player
And Joey Votto wins his first MVP, while Pujols is second, followed by another first baseman, San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez. In this poll (of two), Carlos Gonzalez finishes fifth, after teammate Troy Tulowitzki. The real results come out Nov. 22, but expect Votto to top Pujols again.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com