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Suite deal: contract says Votto pays for suite on road trips

NEW YORK (AP) — Joey Votto will be spending some of the quarter-billion dollars the Cincinnati Reds are giving him on his own comfort.

Cincinnati and the first baseman finalized their $251.5 million, 12-year contract Thursday, the longest guaranteed agreement in baseball history.

While the agreement gives the 2010 NL MVP a hotel suite on road trips, Votto must pay out of his pocket the difference in cost between the suite and a single room, according to contract terms obtained by The Associated Press.

The deal, announced April 4, adds $225 million over 10 years to his prior contract, which had been scheduled to expire after the 2013 season. It contains $41 million in slightly deferred money, with $3 million to $5 million in some seasons due on Nov. 1. Votto will be 41 in 2024, when the deal could expire.

As part of the contract, the Reds give a ballpark suite for 10 games per year to the Joey Votto Charitable Foundation. He also has the ability to purchase a stadium suite for home games at a discount that is not specified.

He will donate 1 percent of his base salary each year to charity, with half going to the Reds Community Fund and half to a charity of his choosing in the greater Cincinnati area.

Votto gets base salaries of $9.5 million this year and $17 million in 2013, the same as called for in his prior deal. The agreement includes salaries of $12 million in 2014, $14 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016, $22 million in 2017 and $25 million in each of the following six seasons. The Reds have a $20 million option for 2024 and must pay a $7 million buyout that Nov. 1 if they decline it.

Like most players, he is paid in 12 semimonthly installments from April to September. But $3 million is deferred in 2013, $4 million each in 2016 and 2017 and $5 million apiece from 2018-23, with the money due on Nov. 1 in the year it is earned. If the option is exercised, $5 million would be deferred until Nov. 1, 2024.

Votto receives full no-trade protection. He would earn $75,000 for All-Star election or selection, $75,000 for a Gold Glove, $75,000 for a Silver Slugger, $75,000 for league championship series MVP and $100,000 for World Series MVP.

NL MVP is worth $500,000, with second place getting him $200,000, third place $150,000, fourth place $100,000 and fifth place $50,000.