Reds confirm extension for Joey Votto

CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Reds have made it official: Joey Votto has agreed to a 12-year deal, which is the longest guaranteed contract in the history of Major League Baseball.

The extension means that one of the game's best players will remain in Cincinnati through the 2023 season and includes a club option for 2024.

Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty announced the 10-year extension Wednesday afternoon.

The new contract also reportedly includes a no-trade clause for the 28-year-old Votto. Terms of the extension have not been released, but sources say it's worth $225 million, making it the fourth largest contract in Major League Baseball.

The 2010 National League MVP had been under contract through the 2013 season, leading many to believe the Reds would lose their franchise player to free agency or maybe even a trade. However, this Reds ownership group is different and have shown their commitment to winning. This is just another move Bob Castellini and his team have made to show the fans of Cincinnati that the Reds' front office plans to bring championship baseball back to the Queen City.

"We recognize the historical significance of this signing. Ownership has committed to Joey, and we anticipate that he will continue to be one of the best players in baseball for the next decade or so," Jocketty said. "He wants to stay here, and we want him here. We have shown we are committed to building a solid foundation from within the organization."

Votto helped the Reds win the NL Central in 2010, the first time in 15 years the team made it to the playoffs. He agreed to a 3-year deal after the season rather than a long-term deal.

Last season Votto batted .309 with 28 home runs and 103 RBIs.

"Joey not only is one of the game's best players, but on the field and in the community he represents himself, the organization and our city with extraordinary professionalism and dignity. We certainly are proud to be able to keep him in Cincinnati for 12 more years," said President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini.

The Reds kick off the 2012 season Thursday against the Miami Marlins at 4:05 p.m.

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