Source said Johnson eyeing Yankees

Updated: July 10, 2004, 3:05 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Johnson's future remained uncertain Friday night, with his agent and the Yankees downplaying a report that the Arizona ace could soon be traded to New York.

And the five-time Cy Young Award winner has no interest in participating in the speculation.

Randy Johnson
Starting Pitcher
Arizona Diamondbacks
18 10 6 0 139 2.90

"I'm not going to comment on any of that stuff," Johnson said after taking the loss in San Francisco's 8-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. "Eventually, I will just stop talking to the press.

"I haven't been approached by the Diamondbacks yet. They don't have a trade in place yet. I haven't been asked to waive my no-trade clause. Don't ask again, and that's the nicest way I will ask."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke to the Diamondbacks earlier this week and was told Johnson was not available, one New York official said on the condition of anonymity.

In addition, Johnson's agent discounted the rumor. The Big Unit has a no-trade clause in his contract, which extends through 2005.

"No one has asked us to waive the no-trade," Barry Meister said. "There are no trade discussions going on. I think it's just pathetic by the media."

The New York Daily News quoted an anonymous source close to Johnson who said the 40-year-old left-hander would waive his no-trade clause to move from the last-place Diamondbacks to a contender -- possibly the Yankees, who have openly coveted baseball's best strikeout pitcher.

Arizona general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. previously has said he wants to keep Johnson, a Bay Area native who lives in the Phoenix area year-round.

"(The media) had me going to San Francisco, because I grew up there," Johnson said. "Then it was Anaheim, because I have a home there. Write something that's true. If it happens, it happens."

Johnson was 10-6 with a 2.90 ERA entering his start against the Giants. The five-time Cy Young Award winner earned his 10th trip to the All-Star game last week, but the Diamondbacks have been one of baseball's worst teams this season.

He threw a perfect game earlier this season against the Atlanta Braves. Johnson also got his 4,000th strikeout last month against San Diego, becoming just the fourth pitcher to reach the milestone.

Johnson pitched only five innings against the Giants on Friday night and left trailing 6-3. He allowed six hits and three walks, striking out six -- but San Francisco jumped ahead when Luis Gonzalez dropped Edgardo Alfonzo's bases-loaded liner to left in the fifth. Three runs eventually scored.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press