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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dunn Commits to Cincinnati (for now)

The Cincinnati Reds avoided arbitration with Adam Dunn by signing him to a two-year, $18 million deal last night. The contract also includes a team option for 2008. Dunn receives a raise from his 2005 salary of $4.6 million to $7.5 million in 2006, and he will make $10.5 million in 2007. The Reds' option for 2008 is for $13 million plus incentives, with a $500,000 buyout should they decide not to pick it up. Dunn is eligible for free agency following the 2007 season. Interestingly, according to Marc Lancaster, the $13 million team option for 2008 is voided in the event that Dunn is traded prior to 2008, indicating that Dunn is only willing to commit to play for the Reds under the $13 million scenario.

From the Reds' perspective, this is a great deal because it enables the club to avoid an arbitration fight with their most productive player, and it allows them to keep Dunn through the first year of his free agency eligible years. From Dunn's perspective, it provides him with guaranteed money and ties him up for a maximum of only one year of his free agency eligible years. It also is short enough that it encourages the Reds to make moves to become a contender if they want to convince guys like Dunn to stick around for the long term. From the Astros perspective, it may make no difference at all. If Dunn was traded to the Astros at any time prior to 2008 (while still in his two-year deal), the parties could work out a longer-term deal for 2008 and beyond at any point in time.


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