Why take the risk though.. Now the Reds have an almost 3 year commitment to him (this year + extension). Now we have to worry if he gets injuried. That's a huge risk for him.
If we aren't buying out free agent years and we're not likely to save money, why do it?
This doesn't make him any more attractive on the trade market, because it doesn't buy out any free agency years. It makes him less attractive, because of the guaranteed money and injury/performance risk.
I don't mind taking good risks or overpaying to lock up key players, but Freel is not a key player. As I said, he may not even be a starter by the end of the year.
The Reds complain about not having money to get impact players, but tie up a lot of money in bench players and mediocre relievers.