Votto dominates MVP voting

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto was named the 2010 National League Most Valuable Player in a runaway vote on Monday.

Votto, 27, received 31 of the 32 first-place votes and beat out the likes of Albert Pujols and Carlos Gonzalez for the hardware.

Votto led the Reds to the NL Central championship and their first trip to the playoffs in 15 years. He batted .324 with 38 home runs and 113 RBI’s. His average was second-best in the NL (behind Gonzalez) and he was third in both homers (behind Pujols and Adam Dunn) and RBI’s (behind Pujols and Gonzalez).

And get this: Votto made just $525,000 last season, making him not only the best player in the NL, but the best bargain in all of baseball. He is arbitration-eligble this offseason and will receive a hefty raise. And a well-deserved one.

Now the question is whether the Reds can keep Votto long-term, or if he will eventually chase the money and go to the highest bidder. Cincinnati doesn’t have to worry about him becoming a free agent for another three years, but the team would be wise to at least try and lock him with a long-term contract. It will cost a lot, but it would be worth it. Votto is simply the purest hitter to come through the Queen City in many years. And you don’t have to worry about him getting in trouble off the field.