From this Am’s Enquirer:
Kearns signed a $1.85 million, one-year deal.
The Reds seem to be taking a one year approach with their arbitration eligible players and hope to have them all signed by noon today.
The Reds are trying to get Dunn, Lopez and Harang all signed by noon today.
That’s the deadline for the sides to exchange salary figures.
O’Brien said the dialogue remains open with Dunn, Lopez and Harang.
“I can’t handicap it,” he said. “But we’re going to make every effort to get it done by noon (today). If we don’t, we’ll go forward with a different tack.”
I’m not sure what “different tack” means, but it makes me nervous.
Reds general manager Dan O’Brien said the club is only talking one-year deals with Dunn and Felipe Lopez and Aaron Harang, the other two unsigned arbitration-eligible players.
That’s not surprising with Harang and Lopez, who are arbitration-eligible for the first time, but it is surprising with Dunn.
Dunn is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, meaning he’s a free agent after the 2007 season. Given Dunn’s consistency over the last two seasons and his earning potential, it would seem financially prudent for the Reds to try to lock him up to a three- or four-year deal because players generally will trade short-term salary for long-term security.
But after preliminary talk about multi-year deals, the Reds are trying to get Dunn signed only for 2006.
“Late last week, we talked to agents and the basic thought was to put aside the talks of multi-year deals and try to resolve the one-year issue,” O’Brien said. “That’s what we’re focusing on.”
And more on Adam Dunn…
Dunn made $4.6 million last year. He’ll likely make at least $8 million for 2006. If he continues to put up the numbers he has the last two years – an average of 43 home runs, 102 RBI, 106 runs and 111 walks – he’ll about bust the bank in 2007.
One major factor could work in the Reds’ favor here. The new ownership group, led by Robert Castellini, is set to take over the club Thursday.
If Castellini and Co. want Dunn to be part of the Reds’ future, they can make their case to him. Long-term deals to big-name players usually involve ownership in the negotiations.
“I can’t speak to that,” O’Brien said. “All I can say is it hasn’t been brought up in any dialogue.”
Dunn is the best young player this team has had…at least since Eric Davis, probably longer, and if the new ownership lets him walk, they’ll be sending a very dark message to Reds fans.