Big wish: Yankees, D'backs near Johnson trade
Saturday, December 30, 2006
BY DAN GRAZIANO
Randy Johnson's brief stay in New York could end as soon as today.
A baseball official who spoke with one of the teams involved yesterday said a trade that would send Johnson from the Yankees back to the Arizona Diamondbacks was nearing its completion. While several complicated details remained to be worked out -- mostly involving deferred money owed to Johnson by the Diamondbacks -- the official said those issues could be worked out by today and a deal could be done soon.
The Yankees have been speaking to the Diamondbacks about sending the 43-year-old future Hall of Fame left-hander back to Arizona for more than a week, since Johnson let GM Brian Cashman know he'd welcome such a move.
The Yankees are seeking three young pitchers from Arizona, with much of their focus on right-handed reliever Brandon Medders, whom they think could help their 2007 bullpen. But once the teams agree on players to be exchanged, the Diamondbacks and Johnson would want to open a 72-hour negotiating window during which they could work out financial issues and, most likely, a contract extension.
Johnson starred for the Diamondbacks from 1999-2004, winning four Cy Young Awards and a World Series title before Arizona dealt him to the Yankees just before the 2005 season. He is 34-19 in two seasons as a Yankee and has 280 victories in his career.