Source: Votto deal $225M and 10 years

Published Apr. 2, 2012 1:00 a.m. EDT

The Cincinnati Reds have made their biggest news since trading for Ken Griffey Jr. in 2000.

First baseman Joey Votto has agreed to a long-term contract extension with the team.

The deal will be 10 years and $225 million, according to a source. It includes the two years he already is signed for.

It is the fourth largest deal in Major League Baseball history. The deal was first reported by MLBTradeRumors. The terms were first reported by USA Today's Bob Nightengale.


Votto becomes the third first baseman in just four months to eclipse the $200 million mark, following Albert Pujols' 10-year, $254 million deal with the Angels and Prince Fielder's nine-year, $214 million deal with the Tigers.

Only the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez had cracked the $200 million barrier previously, signing a 10-year deal worth $275 million in 2007, which broke his previous record of $252 million for 10 years with the Texas Rangers.

The Reds tried to sign Votto to a long-term deal after he led them to the NL Central title and won the NL MVP award in 2010. Instead, they settled for a three-year, $38 million deal that avoided salary arbitration and kept Votto under contract through 2013.

The 28-year-old first baseman has base salaries of $9.5 million this year and $17 million in 2013. He batted .309 last season with 28 homers and 103 RBI, making the All-Star team for the second straight year.

The Reds have tried to lock up the young nucleus of their playoff team with multiyear deals. Outfielder Jay Bruce received a six-year, $51 million deal after the 2010 season.

The Reds, by reaching an agreement with Votto, have all but end their chances of keeping second baseman Brandon Phillips, who is a free agent after this season.

Phillips, 30, is unlikely to sign long-term with the Reds, sources said.