It is apparently the end of an era as the Cincinnati Reds have declined the club option on slugger Joey Votto. He has been one of the best hitters in the National League and a 17-year veteran with the team. The slugger spoke with the media after the announcement was made, and he took the news without any criticism.

Votto had indicated during the season that he was not sure if he would retire after the 2023 season. He recently stated that he was interested in playing one more season, even if it was not with the Reds. Votto said his time with the Reds was a superb experience. He refused to take the bait when he was asked if he felt slighted by the move.

“As far as any sort of dissatisfaction or any slights, man, that's just noise,” Votto said. “This has been the best.”

The Reds expressed admiration for Votto as they made their announcement that the slugger would not be back with the team.

“For 17 seasons, Joey has been the heart of Reds baseball as a Most Valuable Player, All-Star and a respected clubhouse leader. His contributions to our team and his extraordinary generosity cannot be measured,” said Reds president of operations Nick Krall.

Joey Votto was limited to 65 games during the 2023 season. He belted 14 home runs and drove in 38 runs in his shortened season, and provided leadership to a young team after his return.

During his career, Votto has slashed .294/.409/.511 while belting 356 home runs and driving in 1,144 runs. He won the MVP Award in 2010 and has been a 6-time National League All-Star.