Here's the only way the Cubs and Joey Votto make sense this winter

Chicago needs to have a more legitimate answer in their quest to shore up first base.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

Joey Votto continues to be a fan favorite, even in the dark depths of the offseason, thanks to his latest post on X, where he compares being a free agent to listlessly floating in space while hoping George Clooney can save you.

So while I was on my way to drop my daughter at school this morning, the guys over at MLB Network Radio were talking about Votto - and, essentially, narrowed his list of potential fits down to the Blue Jays (because they love the idea of one of the greatest Canadian-born players ever finishing his career in Toronto) or in some sort of coaching/front office capacity with the Reds.

Joey Votto can't be your everyday answer at first if you're the Cubs

That had me thinking, though, if there's a path to Votto landing with the Cubs, one of Cincinnati's big rivals in the NL Central. And while I can plot a course to such a destination, there's just one way to get there: a minor league, non-guaranteed deal with an invite to big league camp. If he plays his way onto the bench, fine. But if you're filling out the depth chart in Arizona next month and the top name on that list is 'Votto', Jed Hoyer will have spectacularly failed this offseason.

Last season, in limited action with the Reds, Votto was, more or less, a league average hitter thanks to his ability to see pitches and draw walks. But he's pretty clearly not the player he once was (nor are most players at 40 years old) - and the Cubs can't be a team that brings a guy in based solely on what he's done in the past.

A former NL MVP and six-time All-Star, Votto has spent his entire career in Cincinnati, but after the Reds went out and added another infielder to the mix in former Cub Jeimer Candelario, it's really hard to see him going back there as a player in 2024.

Looking at the Cubs' internal options at first, you're really talking about Patrick Wisdom, Christopher Morel and Miguel Amaya - although you'd probably want to use Amaya there sparingly given he's part of your catching tandem. You could roll Nick Madrigal at third and divide and conquer first base and DH duties between Morel and Wisdom, but it's pretty safe to say this is an area Chicago needs to address before camp in February.