Monday, December 25, 2006

Question Marks

So the Newark Star Ledger floats word that the Yankees are shopping Randy Johnson back to Arizona, and a few unnamed third party sources confirm it. I have no doubt that this is true, but I would hesitate to believe that anything is close, and I would actually label these talks as far from fruition. When you look at things as they stand right now, you see the initial report, some anonymous comments, and an AP story by Ronald Blum that has exploded all over the internet and newspapers looking for big news to fill the Christmas lull. This story is full of question marks.

Frankly, I believed the rumors when they were out there during the Winter Meetings, but I have to believe that any deal involving Johnson will be a tough one unless either Arizona is willing to pick up his contract completely, Cashman agrees to eat part of the money in exchange for some better quality prospects, or a good Major League player is also being put in the deal. Those are all distinct possibilities, but there's also the matter of Johnson's no trade clause. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to leave New York, but only he knows how much he'll use that leverage to get what he wants.

What is he worth to New York? What is he worth to Arizona? To New York, you have to believe that his abilities (hampered and deteriorating as they may be) are worth more in the rotation than a few low level prospects and/or a mediocre Major Leaguer. The Yankees need to get some real players in this deal. The Diamondbacks would like to add his marquee value to their club, and probably see him get win 300 in their uniform, cementing his place in Cooperstown as a D'Back. How much he can actually give them in terms of pitching is questionable, so they don't want to give up the farm in a deal that could look very bad for them in 2-3 years.

There's the crux of the situation, and the reason this will be very delicate for both sides. The Yankees risk opening a huge hole in the rotation if they trade him and they players coming back do nothing. The Diamondbacks risk giving up too much for an aged and ailing former Cy Young winner, just to get a better turnstile performance in 2007 and 2008. The X-factor for the Yankees is Roger Clemens. If Cashman feels he can persuade Rocket to join the team sooner than later, Randy Johnson becomes expendable at a far more reasonable cost to Arizona. That's a big question mark.

3 comments:

singlessss said...

Perfect Mike... right on in all accounts. I say the Yanks pick up 3-6 mil of RJs contract in exchange for a REAL MLB player or HIGH level
Eric Byrnes? Barf me. The only help Arizona can give us is another arm, a decent, young catcher, or a quality INFer as a bench player and relief for ARod, Jetes and Cano.

If you consider other Pitcher's prospect(s).
contracts signed this year, RJ for one year at 10-12$m is a steal... and Arizona should be willing to part with some real talent for that. As you said, this is a deal where a few mil of Yankee money can have a real impact.

Anonymous said...

Unit on way out of New York?

Evan Brunell who writes for Redsox - His thoughts and perspective about Rj leaving New York

http://mvn.com/mlb-redsox/2006/12/26/unit-on-way-out-of-new-york/



Redsox had no bullpen.. Matsuzaka is a unproven pitcher coming from Japan.. Papelbon is coming off shoulder injury. Schilling and Wakefield are both very old and regress last year.

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