Detroit Tigers need to avoid Joey Votto.
Before I get too far into this, I'll admit I love Joey Votto as much as the next guy. He may not have ever played for the Detroit Tigers, being a 17-year veteran with the Cincinnati Reds, but he's a fun watch for any baseball fans. When it comes to hitting, Votto was a bit of a trailblazer.
While he may have adopted things from this legend or that one, Votto has always been an outside-the-box personality, throwing foul balls out of visitor stadiums, jawing with fans, and his unique thoughts on hitting. But one thing is sure: Votto can swing it. He's one of the best hitters from the late-2000s and 2010s, often being underrated by my count.
However, our FanSided friends at Blog Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds FanSided site, published an article suggesting that the Detroit Tigers could be a landing spot for Joey Votto. But this certainly leaves me a bit frightened. As the disclaimer intro pilots, Votto is a great player but does not belong on the Tigers' 2024 roster.
The article's author, Ryan Harless, makes some very valid points. He notes that Votto is an avid student & teacher of the game, loving to help those around him in the latter half of his career. He suggests he would make for a great teacher with the Tigers' younger players, suggesting Spencer Torkelson as a good mentee, the Tigers' cornerstone first baseman.
It's a fair point, and something must be said about a player of Votto's caliber willing to come and teach players, mentoring the next generation. But he can come to Detroit as a coach if he really wants to do that. But let's be honest: Votto's not done playing yet, and if the opportunity were as a coach, he would likely head to Cincinnati if they'll have him.
The Tigers just got rid of an older and veteran 1B/DH player in, Miguel Cabrera, as he has retired from Major League Baseball (but not baseball altogether). That sounds like a slight to Cabrera, and it's not meant to be. It's simply that his last few years in Detroit were spent as a DH, just going through the motions as his body started to break down.
Detroit does not need to go down that road again with Votto. It's not meant to be disrespectful to Votto because, as I said, I love the player and think he will make an exceptional hitting coach and potentially manager one day. However, Detroit should look to get younger and more competitive. It's not a move that helps them accomplish that.
Bringing in veterans matters, but that's not a move that brings a lot to the Tigers' situation. Selfishly, I hope Votto ends up on a roster this year. While I'm not a Blue Jays expert, it seems like it would be pretty awesome for him to finish his career in his hometown with the Toronto Blue Jays.
It's what Harless hinted at in his piece about Votto, and it's what I hope works out. But I do not want the Tigers to go out and sign Votto.