Sports Outside the Beltway

Johnson to Arizona Deal All But Done

Looks like the Randy Johnson-Arizona deal is a go. Here’s the article from and the Associated Press. news services

NEW YORK — The New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks reached a tentative agreement Thursday on a trade that would send Randy Johnson to Arizona, a move that allows the Big Unit’s agents to get him a contract extension.

The teams informed the commissioner’s office of the specifics of the trade, a baseball official told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Arizona would send pitcher Luis Vizcaino to the Yankees along with minor league pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, another baseball official said, also on condition of anonymity. The Yankees also might receive another minor league pitcher, the official said, and would pay between $1.5 million and $2 million of Johnson’s $16 million salary this year.

A source told’s Jayson Stark the unidentified minor league pitcher was Steven Jackson.

The Yankees also had discussed trading Johnson to San Diego.

Barry Meister, one of Johnson’s agents, told ESPN’s Steve Phillips that a 72-hour window has been granted by the commissioner’s office, and it began at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Teams are granted the window to close tentative deals.

“When we have been granted that window, we would be willing to discuss everything with the Diamondbacks,” said Alan Nero, who represents Johnson along with Meister, before the window was granted. “Once that window is open, we will do our best to work out a deal.”

Newsday reported Thursday that Johnson had agreed in principle through “back-channel conversations” to a $10 million contract extension for 2008.

Arizona also might want to rework the slightly more than $44 million it must pay Johnson for 2007-12. Johnson pitched for the Diamondbacks from 1999-2004 and deferred parts of his salaries during those years.

In another move, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract worth about $1.5 million. Mientkiewicz, who spent 2005 with the crosstown Mets, must take a physical for the deal to be finalized.

Vizcaino, a 32-year-old right-hander, was 4-6 last season with 3.58 ERA in 70 games. He has a 25-23 career record with a 4.24 ERA in eight seasons, playing for Oakland, Milwaukee, the Chicago White Sox and Arizona.

Ohlendorf, a 25-year-old who went to Princeton, was 10-8 with a 3.29 ERA at Double-A Tennessee last season and 0-0 with a 1.28 ERA at Tucson.

Gonzalez, a 24-year-old right-handed hitter, batted .290 in 129 games with Tennessee with six homers, 50 RBI and 20 doubles. He also hit .200 (3-for-15) in four games with Tucson.

Jackson, 24, was 8-11 with a 2.65 ERA in 24 starts at Tennessee.

Johnson was 17-11 with a 5.00 ERA last season, and the 43-year-old left-hander is coming off back surgery on Oct. 26. Although he has gone 34-19 during the regular season in two years with the Yankees, he is 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in three postseason appearances.

New York’s projected rotation includes Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Kei Igawa. The Yankees also have oft-injured right-hander Carl Pavano and hope Roger Clemens can be persuaded to follow Pettitte back to New York. Clemens hasn’t decided whether to pitch this year. If he does, the 44-year-old right-hander might follow his 2006 schedule and not start his major league season until mid-June.

Johnson, who lives in the Phoenix area, went 103-49 with the Diamondbacks and helped them beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, going 3-0 against New York.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report

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