Johnson's physical was delayed by vacation

Updated: December 16, 2003, 7:25 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees completed their Dec. 4 trade with Montreal for pitcher Javier Vazquez when first baseman Nick Johnson passed his physical for the Expos on Tuesday.

New York sent Johnson, outfielder Juan Rivera and left-hander Randy Choate to Montreal for Vazquez, a 27-year-old right-hander.

Johnson's physical was delayed because he was in Europe on vacation.

New York's projected starting rotation now includes Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Vazquez and Jose Contreras. David Wells, who is close to agreement on a minor league contract, and Jon Lieber, recovering from elbow surgery, are expected to compete for the fifth spot.

Vazquez was 13-12 with a 3.24 ERA and 241 strikeouts in 230 2-3 innings last season.

In other news, the Yankees finalized the change in their two April series with Tampa Bay caused by the planned two games against the Devil Rays in Japan.

New York originally was to open at home against the Devil Rays on April 5 and 7, then play a four-game series at Tampa Bay from April 12-15.

Under the home schedule announced by the Yankees on Tuesday, they will play their Yankee Stadium opener against the Chicago White Sox on April 8, the opener of a four-game series, then host the Devil Rays on April 13 and 14.

Under the proposed trip to Japan, which still hasn't been finalized, the Yankees and Devil Rays would open the season with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 30-31, then return to spring training. The Yankees would start the North American part of their schedule at Tampa Bay with a two-game series starting April 5 or 6.

The Yankees will start selling tickets for home games Friday. Ticket prices increased by an average of about 10 percent.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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