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Votto Agrees to New Deal with Reds, Francis a Royal

OTTAWA- Current National League MVP Joey Votto (Etobicoke, ON) has signed a three- year contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Votto’s MVP season saw him belt 37 homeruns to go along with 113 RBI’s and a .324 batting average. Votto has spent his entire career with the Reds organization as they made him a 2nd round selection in the 2002 MLB Draft.

"I think it gives me the opportunity to avoid arbitration and also just concentrate on playing the next three years," said Votto in a conference call with reporters.

Votto recently became the third member of Baseball Canada’s Wall of Excellence joining Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, BC) and Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC).

Also making news is Jeff Francis (Delta, BC) who will be moving on to his second organization as he inked a one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals. The 30 year-old made twenty starts with the Colorado Rockies in 2010 and went 4-6 with 5.00 ERA. Francis missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing shoulder surgery. A former first round pick of the Rockies in 2002, Francis pitched six big-league seasons with the club.

“I've been feeling really good," Francis said in an interview with the Associated Press. "I've been able to do anything I wanted to up to this point. I'm excited about it. I'll be ready to go for spring training."