Published April 04, 2012
Canadian Joey Votto became just the fourth Major League Baseball player to reach a contract worth more than $200 million after agreeing to a 10-year extension with the Cincinnati Reds, the team said on Wednesday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the first baseman, who had two years remaining on a contract he signed last year, agreed to a deal worth a reported $225 million, according to a story on the league's website.
Votto, 28, whose contract runs through the 2023 MLB season, joins New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and first basemen Albert Pujols of the Anaheim Angels and Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers in the exclusive $200 million club.
"To be honest, I'm surprised," Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs said in a report on MLB.com. "You only expect a few franchises to be in the mix for a contract like that -- New York, L.A., Chicago and so forth.
"For Cincinnati to step up and be in the neighborhood of that just shows we're making a point to keep up with those organizations to compete and try to be a force in this league."
Voted the National League's most valuable player in 2010, Votto batted .309 with 29 home runs and 103 runs batted in last season for the Reds while earning his first Gold Glove Award.
He has spent his entire five-year MLB career in Cincinnati, slamming 119 homers and driving in 401 runs with a .313 batting average.
"We recognize the historical significance of this signing," Reds General Manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement.
"Ownership has committed to Joey, and we anticipate that he will continue to be one of the best players in baseball for the next decade or so."
Pujols signed a $240 million contract for 10 years with the Angels in December while Fielder agreed to a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers in January.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)