(BaseballStL) -- The news that Reds first baseman Joey Votto has reportedly agreed to a monster 10-year, $225 million extension is not good for the Cardinals. It was widely anticipated that Cincinnati would not be able to afford the hefty price tag of Votto... especially after Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder set the market this past offseason.
With Fielder leaving the Brewers, it severly damages their ability to drive in runs in the middle of the order. They will have a hard time competing with the Cardinals because of that. But the Reds? They won't skip a beat by keeping Votto for the next decade. They've got outstanding pitching led by Mat Latos and Johnny Cueto and now they know their big bat isn't leaving either. The Cincinnati Reds are here to stay. They'll be a thorn in the Redbirds' side for a long time.
To compare the Reds ability to sign Votto and the Cardinals inability to sign Pujols is not fair, however. I don't look at these two situations as the same. Votto, at 28, is 4 years younger than the 32-year old Pujols. That means a 10 year deal for Votto takes him to 38...as opposed to 42 for El Hombre. That's significant. There are a lot fewer "decline" years Cincinnati has to be fearful of whereas the Cards had to look at, say, half of a potential Pujols deal as him in decline. No one wants to pay $20-$25 million dollars a year to an old, broken down 40 year old. Well, the Cardinals couldn't afford to do that given their payroll. The Angels, meanwhile, can do that since they're in a bigger market.
Albert or no Albert...the Cardinals have the pieces in place to still compete for a while. The Reds were not supposed to have Joey Votto for much longer and, thus, not compete. With the news they've payed up to keep him for 10 years...that changes the entire dynamic of this division.