Commissioner Bud Selig gave his blessing Monday to a trade that
will send the Big Unit to the Yankees, making a contract extension
the last major obstacle to be resolved in the drawn-out Arizona-New York swap.
New York was given a 72-hour window to come to terms with the
five-time Cy Young Award winner. Johnson's current deal pays him
$16 million in 2005 and expires after this season.
"We're just looking forward to beginning the process," said
Alan Nero, one of Johnson's agents.
The Diamondbacks would receive pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, young catcher Dioner Navarro and $9 million to be paid over three years.
Arizona also agreed Monday to a proposed trade that would send Navarro and another prospect to the Dodgers for Shawn Green and $8 million. The outfielder was part of a three-team, 10-player swap
involving Johnson and the Yankees that collapsed Dec. 21 when Los Angeles backed out.
Selig granted the Diamondbacks a 48-hour window at the Dodgers request to work out an extension
for Green, who will make $16 million this year, then can become a
free agent, according to the Los Angeles Times. Selig's approval was necessary because the Dodgers would give
the Diamondbacks $8 million as part of the transaction.
The windows for both trades will begin Tuesday.
Randy Johnson's Highest Lifetime ERA vs. AL Opponents
*Johnson 8-6 in career vs. Boston
"There are obviously two separate transactions, and each has a
variety of conditions that need to be met," Diamondbacks managing
partner Ken Kendrick said. "It starts a window of time wherein
contractual matters need to be resolved, between the Yankees and
Randy, and us and Randy, and us and Shawn Green.
"And then, finally, a whole array of physical exams need to
take place, because of the number of players involved."
If the Johnson trade goes through, Navarro and pitching prospect William Juarez would go to the Dodgers as part of the Green trade. But if the Johnson trade falls apart, Arizona would send Juarez and
23-year-old catcher Chris Snyder to Los Angeles.
The $9 million being sent to Arizona by New York over a
three-year period would offset some of the $34.5 million Vazquez is
due during that period.
Having talked about a trade since July, New York and Johnson
should have a pretty good idea about the parameters on an
extension. Asked if the sides could reach an agreement this week,
Nero responded: "I certainly would hope so."
Johnson, 41, was 16-14 last season on a Diamondbacks team that
went 51-111, tied for the 10th-most losses in major league history.
The 6-foot-10 left-hander led the majors with 290 strikeouts, was
second with a 2.60 ERA and pitched a perfect game against Atlanta,
but the Diamondbacks scored two runs or fewer in 17 of his 35
Vazquez, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA
for the Yankees. While he was picked for his first All-Star team,
he won just once in his last nine regular-season starts and had a
9.53 ERA in three postseason games.
New York is giving Arizona $3 million in each of the next three
seasons to cover part of Vazquez's salary. He gets $10.5 million in
2005, $11.5 million in 2006 and $12.5 million in 2007.
While completing the trade for Johnson, a 10-time All-Star, New
York also is turning its attention this week to Carlos Beltran. The
free-agent center fielder is to meet Tuesday with Mets general
manager Omar Minaya, and faces a Saturday deadline to re-sign with
the Houston Astros.
Sturtze, Yankees agree to one-year deal Right-hander Tanyon Sturtze, the only Yankee eligible for salary arbitration, agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees him $1 million. He gets $850,000 this season, and the Yankees have
a $1.5 million option for 2006 with a $150,000 buyout. Sturtze was 6-2 with a 5.47 ERA in three starts and 25 relief appearances last
year and is looked at a fill-in starter behind Johnson, Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.