"The Reds aren't currently working on multiyear pacts with any of their four remaining arbitration-eligible players.
The four are Adam Dunn, Aaron Harang, Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez. "We had some preliminary discussion," GM Dan O'Brien said of Dunn's situation. "But with the clock ticking here, it was decided that the best thing to do was to focus on '06 for the moment and then we can revisit the other topic." Dunn will be eligible for free agency after 2007." Jan. 16 - 1:26 pm et
Source: Cincinnati Post
Buying out the remaining two years of arbitration is a key bargaining chip in getting Dunn locked into a multiyear deal. O'B is giving away one of the two final years by signing Dunn to a one year deal again and getting nothing in return.
OB has done very little this offseason and yet he doesn't have the time to get a multiyear deal with Dunn completed? I'm not sure how that's possible.
What's the incentive for Dunn to sign a multiyear deal when he only has one year remaining before he hits free agency, as will be the case after this season?
Avoiding the ugly arbitration process and locking in guaranteed cash for the next four seasons are a big motivators for a player. O'B is wasting his bargaining power. Signing Dunn to a one year deal for 2006 and then trying to lock him into a multiyear deal after the season is a significant negotiating mistake. And, the downside of signing Dunn to a multiyear deal is miniscule in comparison to the upside of getting it done.
O'B needs to sign Dunn to a four year deal. Essentially, buy out Dunn's remaining two years of arbitration in exchange for his first two free agent years. That's fair for both sides.
I think the inability to get Dunn locked up in a multiyear deal GREATLY increases the chances that Dunn will test the free agent waters after 2007. And, if Dunn tests the waters, he'll be gone. Cincy can't compete financially with the big boys and can't compete in W/L department either. With only one season before free agency, there's no real reason for Dunn to sign a multiyear deal with Cincy without testing the market first.
This would seem to be yet another example of O'B's inability to manage the MLB roster.