Originally Posted by IslandRed
Problem is, you're looking at this as a one-sided negotiation, where as long as the Reds throw down a by-the-book offer for a player of Dunn's caliber and service time, it's as good as done. It's not that simple. Locking in four years of guaranteed cash is a solid motivator. So is breaking the bank in arbitration for the next two years and getting out of Cincinnati for a better organization. Dunn doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who's motivated by fear, and I can't blame him for adopting a wait-and-see stance.
In fact, my personal opinion -- which is just that -- is that Cincinnati had no chance at retaining him past 2007 until the team was sold, that he wasn't going to sign a long-term deal with a Lindner/O'Brien regime under any circumstances. We may have a chance if he likes what he sees from the new ownership.
Actually, no, I'm not looking at it as a one sided negotiation, which is why O'B needs every last bit of leverage he can find. He certainly can't sell the Reds on their great performance on the field or their brilliance in the front office. As such, he needs every last bullet in the gun.
The new ownership group undeniably clouds the issue, but I see very little downside for the new owners in signing Dunn to a multiyear deal. And, whether or not O'B is authorized to commence negotiations, he should at least be laying the groundwork for negotiations. He should be expressing serious interest and listening to determine what Dunn is looking for in a four year deal. Then, when the new ownership is authorized, he would be ready to talk specifics and lock in a new deal. A multiyear deal would be unlikely to cost signficantly more in the first two years of the deal than either two one-year deals or arbitration hearings would produce. It's the final two that would be different and I hardly think that it would be of great concern to the new owners. Especially with Milton and then Griffey, to a certain extent, coming off the books in years to come.
I think it's a wasted opportunity, which, I guess, should be expected during O'B's tenure.