I was looking up some stuff with all of the contracts going down. And I came across Rocco Baldelli. Then I started thinking about Austin Kearns and Baldelli's similarities. Both were top draft picks, Kearns was the 7th in 1998 and Baldelli was the 6th in 2000, I believe. And came up through the minors pretty successfully. Both have given hints of being really good. I would say Kearns has shown a little more than Baldelli but Kearns has been hit with a few more injuries to balance it out.
Baldelli was signed to a 3-year deal worth $9 million from 2006-2008 with club options in '09 for $6 million, '10 for $8 million and '11 for $9 million. There is a buyout in 2009 for $4 million and a buyout in 2011 for $2 million. There are also incentives that could increase the '07 and '08 salaries depending on plate appearences.
To sum it up Baldelli was signed to a 3-year deal for $9 million with club options for 2009-2011 that increase the salary big time but then there are a few buyouts incase injuries continue to take place or not enough production. Plus there are large pay increases for living up the the expectations.
I say it would be in the Reds best interest to look into a deal like this for Kearns. It makes a lot of sense. It does not break the bank for years to come if the injuries continue but also could lock up a good player for many years to come. Plus not to mention it would really help in trying to sign Dunn to a long term deal I believe. Makes nothing but sense to me.