While I don't find the "trade Votto" talk surprising, I find it funny. Votto isn't going anywhere. Bob and Walt inked him to a big contract, a $20M/year contract because they didn't want to lose him. They wanted to keep on of the best hitters in baseball a Red through his prime and through his ladder years. As a fan I am happy Joey Votto is a Red the foreseeable future.
If I am Walt I am going to ask Votto why his power numbers were down? I am going to ask him why he made more base running and fielding errors this season? That is all. I am not going to tell him he should do X because the Reds are paying him Y. I am not going to say that he needs to drive in more runs. But I am going to remind him that he is the Reds best player. That the Reds need him to step up at times and carry the team. Other than that I am going to let him go about his business the way he normally does.