The Reds have avoided arbitration with Javier Valentin and signed him to a one-year, $1.15 million deal.
With Jason LaRue's signing just before Christmas, the Reds have brought back the most productive catcher duo in the majors (.268, 28 HR, 110 RBI between them) for just over $5 million this season. They made $3.45 million last year, so the Reds really couldn't have asked for more when it comes to the finances.
One of the (very few) things that I appreciate about Dan O'Brien is his avoidance of arbitration. Arbitration generally just leaves you with a bitter ballplayer, and it's a losing proposition in general. Sure, you might save a few (hundred thousand) dollars, but at what cost?
It'll be interesting to see if Valentin was a one year wonder. I imagine he'll regress some, but he'd still be a solid backup playing a lot worse than he did in 2005.