With 79-73, the Cincinnati Reds are behind percentage points Chicago Cubs for the third and final wild card in the National League. It’s the first time the Reds have been in the postseason race this late in a 162-game season since 2013. Five teams are separated by just 2.5 games in the race for the final two wild card spots.so we’re all set for an exciting season finale.

For the legend of the Reds Joey Votto, is currently playing what could be his last homestand with Cincinnati, if not the last games of his major league career. The recently turned 40-year-old is in the last guaranteed season of his contract and the Reds need roster spots and at-bats for their young infielders. You don’t have to look too hard to see how this could be Votto’s last season with Cincinnati.

On Monday, Votto was asked if he had thought about this being his last homestand with the Reds. Here’s what the always thoughtful six-time All-Star had to say:

“I don’t think about it. I’ve had moments where it’s crossed my mind, and the good thing about playing competitive ball is that you’re thinking about today’s game and your good performance,” Votto said. “…As for this being the last home stay, if that’s the case, I can’t do anything about it. I don’t mean I can’t do anything about it. I’m just having a great time playing.” some really meaningful baseball with some really fun teammates. So, however it happens, I’m good. I’m good. I just want to help. I just want to play. All I’ve ever wanted to do is play. It’s the most important thing for me. my”.

Votto underwent shoulder surgery last August and had to pause his rehab work several times earlier this year. He rejoined the Reds on June 19 and is hitting .209/.309/.458 with 14 home runs in 57 games. Votto recently missed two weeks with shoulder soreness and doesn’t play much against lefties in general. At this point, he is a highly decorated veteran role player.

The Reds have a $20 million club option for Votto next year and it comes with a hefty $7 million buyout, making it a $13 million decision. However, at this stage of his career, Votto is not a $13 million player. If anything, the Reds would decline the option and try to bring him back at a lower salary, but even then, how many at-bats will be available given the depth of the club’s infield?

Cincinnati has two games left with the Minnesota Twins and then they will close their schedule at home with three games against the Milwaukee Brewers this weekend. The Reds finish their regular season with two games against the Cleveland Guardians and three games with him St. Louis Cardinals Next week, everyone on the road. Even if they make the postseason, the Reds are not guaranteed a home game during the Wild Card Series.