Blue Jays' master plan to become more likable with latest signing won't work

Toronto Blue Jays Workout
Toronto Blue Jays Workout / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

You thought letting Joey Votto languish on the free agent market, despite increasingly desperate pleas for a safe return, made MLB teams look bad? Wait until the Toronto Blue Jays have to DFA him.

For the past several weeks, Votto has been showing up on radio shows, podcasts, and truckers' radio feeds begging for a final chance to come back to Major League Baseball. An immensely likable potential future Hall of Famer deserves a proper sendoff rather than a declined option year and a shuffle out the door from the only professional franchise he's ever known.

After all hope nearly seemed lost, Votto landed a non-roster invite with (ugh) the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday afternoon. It marked a heartwarming decision; Votto's a Canadian native who was spurned by the Jays as an amateur, leading to a shockingly potent career in Cincinnati.

It also happens to be the second-chirpiest team in the AL East, still ranked just behind the Boston Red Sox, and Yankees fans won't fall for Votto's Canuck-itude. After all, Bo Bichette and Justin Turner are still here. The roster's still uniquely detestable.

Blue Jays sign Joey Votto to compete with Daniel Vogelbach. Yankees fans have a clear preference.

Much like Gerrit Cole, we don't forget a lot of things.

There are no guarantees for Votto; Vogelbach has already powered two homers out during spring action, both with similar-length trots. Votto's been working out privately, but like fellow languishing free agents Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery and JD Martinez, he's almost certainly behind his personal curve. There's a good chance his early work remains in Dunedin while he hustles into shape -- not to mention that Turner and Vlad Guerrero Jr. have further clogged the positions Votto might occupy.

But, unless the 40-year-old Votto looks like the picture of health instead of the player who hit .202 with 14 homers in 208 at-bats last year, he probably won't stick in Toronto for the full 162. The second he's gone, Yankees fans will be infinitely more comfortable hating the Blue Jays' "movie" once again.

Votto's career in broadcasting, which will likely follow the 2024 season, will be legendary. Hopefully, he doesn't join the Jays' local crew and begin advocating for Aaron Judge to be drilled between the temples for being too good.