Joey Votto is the best hitter in baseball.
The numbers he has put up in his short time with the Cincinnati Reds have him on track for a Hall of Fame caliber career if he stays healthy.
The Reds would be crazy to trade him.
Unfortunately, they just might not have any choice.
NBC Sports Hardball Talk is reporting that the Reds are not shopping Joey Votto, but they are willing to listen to offers from other teams—which is basically the same as shopping him.
This is a face saving stance that a team does strictly so that they can say to their fans "listen, we didn't want to trade Joey, but the Blue Jays gave us such a great offer that we couldn't turn it down."
The Reds front office is anticipating that they won't have the money to sign their best player, and instead of losing him to free agency and getting nothing in return, they are looking at ways to maximize his trade value now.
The emergence of Yonder Alonso certainly makes this a little bit easier to swallow, but ultimately, any scenario that involves losing Joey Votto is likely a bad one.
As a Reds fan, here are three trades that would at least prevent me from spiraling into a deep, lonely, cupcake-filled depression.