Right now, if someone asked you if the Reds could afford to add Albert Pujols, or Carlos Gonzalez, or Troy Tulowitzki or Robinson Cano... or reigning MVP Joey Votto for whatever an arbitrator decides that player is worth over the next three years... I think most of us would be pretty comfortable with Joey.
The Reds are in a comfort zone with this superstar. I have read about people wanting to trade him after this season if he doesn't sign long term as a Cincinnati Red. And so, you are prepared to throw away two years of one of the premier players in all of baseball for whatever chum some large market shark is prepared to throw in our general direction? I don't think so.
There is no need to trade Joey Votto at any point in the next three years, no matter where negotiations lead us this winter. We are fortunate to have one of the best hitters in all of baseball under control for more than a thousand days. We have that tremendous amount of time, plus an incredibly promising supporting cast, to try and win a World Championship and elavate this storied franchise into a better position in the modern world. To write Joey Votto's obituary in Cincinnati at this point in time is the stuff of Mark Twain.
If the Reds just signed the reigning NL MVP to a three year contract as a free agent, there would not be a soul among us who would care what that MVP would be worth in trade. We would only be focused on how many wins he would be worth above replacement, or something like that.
The Reds own Joey Votto for the next three years. That is not exactly a short term proposition.