Paperwork in place for Johnson-Vazquez trade

Updated: January 3, 2005, 3:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- One week later, Randy Johnson again appears headed to New York.

The Diamondbacks and Yankees have agreed on a deal that would send Johnson to New York for Javier Vazquez, prospects and cash, major league sources told ESPN.

Potential Yankees starting rotation
Pitcher 2005 salary
Mike Mussina $17M
Randy Johnson $16M
Kevin Brown $15M
Carl Pavano $9M
Jaret Wright $7M
$64 million total is higher than 13 teams' total salaries.

Once a deal is finalized, the Diamondbacks also will get left-handed pitcher Brad Halsey, catching prospect Dioner Navarro and $8.5 million to $9 million in exchange for the 41-year-old left-hander, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports.

The teams finished putting the deal in writing Friday and submitted the paperwork to the commissioner's office on Monday. Commissioner Bud Selig could approve the trade as early late Monday.

Even after the Yankees and Diamondbacks finalize their deal, several things must happen before the trade could become complete.

  • Because the money was greater than $1 million, Selig must give his approval, which probably won't happen until next week.

  • All players must pass physicals.

  • Johnson has to formally give approval because he has a no-trade clause.

  • The Yankees want a 72-hour window to negotiate an extension with the 41-year-old Johnson, whose current contract expires after the 2005 season.

    Big Unit's career record vs. AL East opponents
    Team W-L ERA
    Red Sox 8-6 4.41*
    Orioles 5-7 4.36
    Devil Rays 2-2 2.70
    Blue Jays 13-4 2.38
    *Highest ERA against any AL team.

    According to the New York Daily News' sources, the discussion has been to add two years to Johnson's deal at $16 million each year.

    Kendrick also indicated Arizona was working on another deal involving Vazquez. One possible suitor was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who could send outfielder Shawn Green and pitcher Brad Penny to Arizona.

    According to Peter Gammons' sources, Arizona will also continue to talk to several other interested teams which include Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit and Texas.

    Separate trades, if they include Los Angeles, would in essence reach the same conclusion as the three-team effort that fell apart Dec. 21 when the Dodgers backed out. Arizona also could deal Vazquez to another team.

    "We would not agree to a final deal or a trade of Randy Johnson unless we believed it would benefit our team," Kendrick said. "That would require in return at least two significant major league ballplayers."

    Kendrick said, however, that no deal could be completed, or the paperwork even submitted to the commissioner's office, until early next week.

    In addition, the Yankees finalized a $3 million, one-year contract with Tino Martinez, a deal that includes a club option for 2006.

    Johnson, a 10-time All-Star, would join a reshaped rotation that now includes Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright. The Yankees already had Mike Mussina and Kevin Brown, but blew a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series and lost to Boston.

    The money New York will send Arizona will offset some of the $34.5 million Vazquez is owed: $10.5 million in 2005, $11.5 million in 2006 and $12.5 million in 2007. New York is making the final $1 million payment of his signing bonus, which is due Friday.

    Johnson was 16-14, a record skewed by playing for a team that went 51-111, tied for the 10th-most losses in major league history. The Diamondbacks scored two runs or fewer in 17 of his 35 starts. He led the majors with 290 strikeouts, was second with a 2.60 ERA and pitched a perfect game against Atlanta.

    Johnson is owed $16 million next season, and his contract contains a $1 million personal services contract payable in the first season of his retirement, money Arizona still will give him.

    Vazquez, a 28-year-old right-hander, was an All-Star in his first season since being traded from Montreal to the Yankees. He was 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA, but won just once in his last nine regular-season starts and had a 9.53 ERA in three postseason games.

    Halsey, a 23-year-old left-hander, was 1-3 with a 6.47 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance for the Yankees last season.

    Navarro, 20, made his big league debut this year after rapid progress in the Yankees' minor league system. He batted .254 with one homer and 15 RBI in 134 at-bats for Columbus of the Triple-A International League after hitting .271 with three homers and 29 RBI in 255 at-bats for Double-A Trenton of the Eastern League.

    Bringing back Martinez gives the Yankees a backup in case Jason Giambi's physical problems continue.

    Martinez, 37, a two-time All-Star, played for New York from 1996-01, helping the Yankees win five AL pennants and four World Series titles. A close friend of Derek Jeter, Martinez hit .262 with 23 homers and 76 RBIs for Tampa Bay last season.

    Martinez gets $2.75 million next season, and New York has a $3 million option for 2006 with a $250,000 buyout.

    Tony Clark and John Olerud played first base in Giambi's absence last season. They both became free agents.

    Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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