The Big Unit and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement
Thursday on a $32 million, two-year contract extension, leaving
only a physical as the final step needed to finishing the drawn-out
process of finalizing the trade Arizona and the Yankees agreed to
The agreement was first reported on Wednesday by ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.
Johnson, a five-time Cy Young Award winner, waived his no-trade
clause as part of the agreement negotiated by agents Barry Meister
and Alan Nero, a baseball official and a person close to Johnson
told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Arizona will receive pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey,
catcher Dioner Navarro and $9 million in the swap for the
41-year-old left-hander. The teams were working to schedule the
medical exams for Johnson and Vazquez on Monday.
Johnson's current contract, which is entering its final season,
called for a $16 million salary in 2005, of which $6 million was to
be deferred at 2 percent interest, with the money payable in 2010.
Under his new contract with New York, that $6 million now will
be deferred without interest. The new deal calls for annual
salaries of $16 million in 2006 and 2007, with $1.5 million a year
deferred, also without interest.
New York will pay out the $9 million in deferred money over
three years: $3.5 million annually in 2008 and 2009, and $2 million
Johnson's current deal also calls for him to receive two
courtside tickets for Phoenix Suns games through the 2010-11 season
and six premium tickets for all Diamondbacks games starting with
the first season of his retirement through 2010. Arizona will
retain responsibility for that part of the contract.
In addition, all the award bonus provisions in his current
contract will expire after 2005.
Arizona also had a preliminary agreement in place to trade
Navarro and pitching prospect William Juarez to Los Angeles for
outfielder Shawn Green and $8 million. But that deal appeared to be
falling apart because the Diamondbacks and Green failed to agree to
"The window has expired. There is no agreement," baseball
spokesman Pat Courtney said.
Los Angeles and Arizona could attempt to restart those talks,
however, and ask for a new window.
Diamondbacks general partner Ken Kendrick and Green's agent,
Greg Genske, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Johnson would join a starting rotation that includes Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright. Tanyon Sturtze
is viewed as a possible sixth starter should Brown, who has had
back problems, get hurt again.
New York also faces a Saturday deadline to re-sign designated
hitter and backup outfielder Ruben Sierra.
"I talked to several teams and I talked to the Yankees today
several times," said his agent, Chuck Berry. "We're making
progress, but we're still not there. I think Ruben likes the
Yankees and has enjoyed his time there. That's our primary focus.
But, obviously, with Saturday coming around we are talking to other
teams as well."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.