Votto not interested in waiving no-trade clause

Votto not interested in waiving no-trade clause

CINCINNATI -- The Reds are a team in transition, as they've made it clear they are willing to move veteran players in order to get younger and better for the long-term. One player who should be around to see the rebuilding through to its conclusion is first baseman Joey Votto.

Since signing his 10-year, $225 million extension before the 2012 season, Votto has full no-trade protection. He still has eight guaranteed years and $199 million left, including the $7 million buyout of his $20 million club option for 2024.

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Votto made it clear he doesn't want to leave, and with his leverage, he doesn't have to.

"I absolutely love playing here," Votto said during Redsfest on Friday. "When all this trade stuff gets going, it's natural for a player to have that thought process and what would you consider? I just absolutely love playing here. I really like where I live. I like my team and my job. I like the location of the ballpark and the fans and the clubhouse and the uniform and the number on my back -- all the littlest things that people take for granted are very comfortable to me and something I look forward to. I don't think of myself as anything other than a Cincinnati Red. It's one of the really cool things about having a no-trade clause. I'm one of the rare players who has that. I get to stay a Cincinnati Red.

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"I look at guys in all kinds of different sports and I admire the players that stick with one franchise and do well and ride out the rough times and experience the highs, instead of it being the kind of experience that you consume."

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Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty and general manager Dick Williams are shopping several players, and have said no one is untouchable. Players like Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce have figured prominently in trade rumors.

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For Votto, it did not feel weird knowing some of his teammates might not be around when Spring Training starts in February.

"I'm excited. I really am. I'm excited about the future of the organization," Votto said. "I think that having a new general manager brings a different perspective to the way we're going to do things. We'll continue to have Walt around. It's exciting also because it makes for an easy transition.

"I'm exclusively looking forward to playing with the best players possible."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.