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Monday October 18, 2010 11:00 pm

Joey Votto, Edison Volquez and Johnny Cueto all arbitration-eligible

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Rumors,

Joey VottoThe Cincinnati Reds may have found an expensive problem for themselves this offseason. All of Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and MVP candidate Joey Votto are all eligible for arbitration, and all have made cases that they’re worth significantly more than the $1.5M combined they have earned this past year. It’s likely that each one will earn money individually next season that will eclipse this combined total. But can the Reds afford to spend that much more money?

Votto’s half-million dollar 2010 contract will look like pennies compared to the figures he’ll be given next year. The slugging first baseman may be eligible for as much as $10MM next year. He’s quickly established himself as one of the premier hitters in baseball and he’ll expect to be paid like one. He just may not get that in a Reds uniform. Votto has been reluctant to discuss a long-term extension with the Reds, and there may be more to that than money.

Cueto is coming into his own as a pitcher. His record and ERA and WHIP have all gotten better in his three seasons in Cincinnati, and he looks like he could be a strong two or three pitcher in the rotation. Volquez on the other hand, has struggled to put together a full season in the majors other than his 2008 when he won 17 games after coming over to Cincinnati in a trade with Texas for Josh Hamilton. Volquez stands to make the least if he goes to arbitration with the Reds. He may be best served by accepting any contract offer that the Reds give him.

It’s not yet clear what the Reds will try to do with their three arbitration eligible players, but it’s more likely than not that they’ll at least try to lock up Votto. After having an MVP-caliber season and sending the Reds to their first postseason appearance since 1995, it seems like now may be the time for the Reds to make their push. Losing Votto would certainly set them back more than an extra $10MM on their payroll.



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