From the Enquirer:

Harang, a 27-year-old right-hander, agreed to a one-year, $2.35 million deal just before Tuesday’s noon deadline for the sides to file their arbitration numbers. He made $440,000 last year.

Harang improves again this year, he’ll be looking at a very healthy increase next year and the Reds would probably start talking to him about a long term deal.

After the Reds announced they had signed Aaron Harang on Tuesday, general manager Dan O’Brien was asked if the team had come close to signing its two remaining arbitration-eligible players.

“Close is a relative term,” he said.

In baseball dollars, it is indeed. The Reds and Adam Dunn are $1.85 million apart, and the team and Felipe Lopez are $850,000 apart.

The Reds filed an offer of $7.1 million in Dunn’s case; he countered at $8.95 million. The Reds offered $2.15 million in Lopez’s case; he countered at $3 million. Dunn made $4.6 million last year; Lopez $415,000.

Both numbers seem high and low to me (without applying them to any other players numbers to look at them in context), it would seem that splitting the difference would be reasonable.

The filing does not mean the sides are headed to a hearing. A deal can be signed until the hearings, which will be held Feb. 1-20.

The Reds have gone to arbitration only twice in the last four years. The only case to be heard in O’Brien’s tenure as GM was Chris Reitsma’s in 2004, which was won by the club.

But hearings often are so acrimonious, they can have a lasting ill effect. In Reitsma’s case, it was partly responsible for him being traded.

So it would be surprising if Dunn and Lopez aren’t signed before their hearings.

“I think that’s desirable, speaking for both parties,” O’Brien said.

I would certainly hope so. The last thing that I would believe new ownership would want is to have an ugly arbitration hearing with their two brightest young stars soon after taking over the ball club.

2 Responses

  1. al

    i was thinking the same thing jim, but marc lancaster explained it in a way that made some sense.

    He was saying that the choice was basically the players in this case. See, the reds essentially have them under LTCs right now, as they do with all players before they are eligible for free agency.

    Thus, the only reason for a club to buy out a players arbitration years is if they feel they will save money in the deal. But sometimes players don’t want to trade guaranteed money security for overall salary. If a player doesn’t think they are going ot get hurt, they might want all the dollars coming to them through those years. For them to give up those years, they would have to get an offer at least as good as what they think they can get through arbitration.

    But why would the reds do that? Then we’re just guaranteeing money that we don’t have to.

    I hope that DanO is right, and that we can work out some extensions with Dunn and Felo in ST, but it would have to be at a discounted rate.

  2. al

    it’s not about market price bill. They would expect dunn at a discount because they’re offering more guaranteed years. Tha’ts value. The reds aren’t being cheap.

    it’s up to Dunn to decidewhether he wants to get the most he can per year, or get some more guaranteed years, and he seems to want to get the most per year that he can, which is fine. If he has a terrible year this year, or gets hurt, he’ll regret that next year, and if he has a huge year he won’t.

    But none of this has anything to do with whether the reds will keep dunn for years to come. They already control his contract for two more years, and it seems like they are willing to wait until next eyar to work on buying his free agent years.