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.

snip…

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.

I’ve been a Reds fan since the late ’60’s, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in ’84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in ’90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

Join the conversation! 7 Comments

  1. If they do not ink Dunn to at least a three-year deal, they are the biggest idiots on the planet. Give him a three-year $30 million deal. Even if they want to trade him down the road, it will make it easier to get a sweet deal if he is under contract.

  2. Castelini is going to jump into the fire real quick on Friday.

  3. harang just signed at 2.35 mil for ’06. He must really like DanO or something. Does that seem really low to anyone else?

  4. Harang is a great deal because this is his first year of arbitration eligibility. This is why Dontrelle signs for 4.35, but guys like Kip Wells (5.09, 8-18) and Ted Lilly (5.56, 10-11) get 4.15 and 4, respectively. Youth is truly the cheapest commodity in the labor market, which is why it almost never makes sense to sign marginal veterans like Tony Womack, even if it comes at “only” a couple million.

    BTW, Mark Teixeira just signed for two years at 15.4. That is a good barometer for Dunn; Teixeira is slightly better but one year behind Dunn (he’ll be an FA after ’08, Dunn after ’07). I hope we can get Dunn inked for at least 3 – let’s cross our fingers.

  5. It’s just his first year of arbitration. Dontrelle got 4.35 million in a similar situation except that he has put up 3 good years instead of one.

  6. Well, I would hope that Castellini would be all over Dunn to get him ti sign to a long-term deal. i don’t blame these guys for holding out until new ownership takes over, but it would be a shame to not have these guys locked up for a few year before the end of this year.

  7. Unless Dunn just doesn’t want to sign long term with the Reds, I think agreeing on a price for 2006 will be a good start toward signing him long term.

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About Bill Lack

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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Reds - General