1. Joey Votto
If the Yankees were willing to lift the Josh Donaldson burden off the Minnesota Twins, then why wouldn’t they similarly want to bring the still-productive Joey Votto to New York (at a hefty cost) for a few seasons?
Now, if you liked Donaldson arriving in the Bronx at 36 years old, you’re gonna love Votto arriving at the age of 38, set for the final two years on his expensive contract (earning a $25 million base salary for each of those seasons).
Like Donaldson, though, Votto was tremendous in 2021, rebounding to post a 136 OPS+, 36 bombs, 99 RBI and 3.5 WAR. Oft-maligned by veteran Reds broadcasters for both walking too much and sacrificing his power to get on base (???), Votto found whatever he’d lost in his swing last season, tripling his hated-upon power output from 2018 of 12 bombs.
What would it take to acquire Votto right now? Here’s one side of the coin that has changed drastically from just a few days ago. If Cincinnati is spendthrift now, why on earth would they require anything of value here? If the Yankees need a stopgap at first — which, for some reason, they do after passing on Matt Olson — the Reds should accept any two ranked prospects in exchange for Votto, as long as New York fits the bill.
How far are they willing to blow past the tax? And, if the answer is “no further than they did in the Donaldson deal” … why?