The Mother-Of-All Trades That Almost Happened: Joey Votto for Joey Bats.

Great googly moogly, these guys almost were traded for one another?

From Cinncinnati.com’s “Reds’ Blog” comes this bit of shocking news.

We almost saw a deadline deal that would have shipped the Cinncinnati Reds All-World 1B Joey Votto to the Toronto Blue Jays for their slugging outfielder “Joey Bats”.

Here are the details:

We know that the Reds swung and missed on the trade front on Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn and Ubaldo Jimenez. But is there a chance they were working on something much bigger?

A reader tipped me a while back that he has a friend in baseball who told him the Reds were talking to the Blue Jays about a trade Jose Bautista-for-Joey Votto trade. The Reds would have had to kick in a prospect as well.

I get tips like that from time to time. I usually dismiss them. But the fact that the Blue Jays sent a scout to Dayton to specifically watch Daniel Corcino, probably the Reds best pitching prospect, tells me they were talking trade with the Reds.

Votto-for-Bautista makes sense on several levels for the Reds:

–It opens a spot for Yonder Alonso.

–It fills left field with about as good bat as you could possibly hope for. Bautista is hitting .324 with 31 home runs and 71 RBI.

–Bautista is signed through 2015 at $14 million per year. He has an option for 2016 at the same number. Votto is cheaper next year at $9.5 million, but he makes $17 million in 2013 after which he’s a free agent. And he made clear when he signed his current contract that he was only interested in a three-year deal.

The Blue Jays, of course, would get their hometown hero — a player who could sell tickets.

The Reds would never confirm that they were talking about a trade like that. And there may be nothing to it. But it’s certainly interesting to consider.

As good as Votto is, in addition to being both younger and a good defensive player, this trade would have made a ton of sense for both teams.

I am not a big fan of making changes solely for the “sake of change”. It happens a little too often in the sports world.

This deal, however, I could have gotten behind.

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