As much as I love the Cueballs, I think general manager Steve Keim dropped the ball on this one.
According to Sporttrac, Dansby's deal is:
2014 Salary $4M guaranteed, Cap 5.5,
2015 Salary $2M guaranteed, $2M not guaranteed, Cap 5.5
2016 Salary $5M not guaranteed, Cap 6.5, Dead 3
2017 Salary $5M not guaranteed, Cap 6.5 Dead 1.5
The Cards were willing to pay him $10-12M for 2 years per the rumor mill. This deal is $14M for the first two years and then he could be cut after that so the extra years are not significant. If he is playing well after 2015 Cards basically have two 1 year options for keeping him for $5M a year. Dansby has no significant injury history so the guaranteed $ in the first 2 years should not really be a big deal. So Cards let Dansby walk rather than pay an extra 2-4M over the first 2 years.
Dansby was an important part of the defense this year. Washington has some unresolved legal issues pending. Minter is untested.
After reviewing the contract terms, the Cards could easily have done this deal. I think this was a mistake, I would have gone the other way on this and paid him.