Sides have 'til Thursday to work out Unit extension

Updated: January 4, 2005, 12:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Randy Johnson is practically ready to be measured for one tall set of pinstripes.

Randy Johnson
Starting Pitcher
Arizona Diamondbacks
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L Sv K ERA
35 16 14 0 290 2.60

Commissioner Bud Selig gave his blessing Monday to a trade that will send the Big Unit to the Yankees, making a contract extension the last major obstacle to be resolved in the drawn-out Arizona-New York swap.

New York was given a 72-hour window to come to terms with the five-time Cy Young Award winner. Johnson's current deal pays him $16 million in 2005 and expires after this season.

"We're just looking forward to beginning the process," said Alan Nero, one of Johnson's agents.

The Diamondbacks would receive pitchers Javier Vazquez and Brad Halsey, young catcher Dioner Navarro and $9 million to be paid over three years.

Arizona also agreed Monday to a proposed trade that would send Navarro and another prospect to the Dodgers for Shawn Green and $8 million. The outfielder was part of a three-team, 10-player swap involving Johnson and the Yankees that collapsed Dec. 21 when Los Angeles backed out.

Selig granted the Diamondbacks a 48-hour window at the Dodgers request to work out an extension for Green, who will make $16 million this year, then can become a free agent, according to the Los Angeles Times. Selig's approval was necessary because the Dodgers would give the Diamondbacks $8 million as part of the transaction.

The windows for both trades will begin Tuesday.

Randy Johnson's Highest Lifetime ERA vs. AL Opponents
Red Sox 4.41*
Orioles 4.36
Yankees 4.23
Indians 3.97
Tigers 3.82
*Johnson 8-6 in career vs. Boston
"There are obviously two separate transactions, and each has a variety of conditions that need to be met," Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick said. "It starts a window of time wherein contractual matters need to be resolved, between the Yankees and Randy, and us and Randy, and us and Shawn Green.

"And then, finally, a whole array of physical exams need to take place, because of the number of players involved."

If the Johnson trade goes through, Navarro and pitching prospect William Juarez would go to the Dodgers as part of the Green trade. But if the Johnson trade falls apart, Arizona would send Juarez and 23-year-old catcher Chris Snyder to Los Angeles.

The $9 million being sent to Arizona by New York over a three-year period would offset some of the $34.5 million Vazquez is due during that period.

Having talked about a trade since July, New York and Johnson should have a pretty good idea about the parameters on an extension. Asked if the sides could reach an agreement this week, Nero responded: "I certainly would hope so."

Johnson, 41, was 16-14 last season on a Diamondbacks team that went 51-111, tied for the 10th-most losses in major league history. The 6-foot-10 left-hander led the majors with 290 strikeouts, was second with a 2.60 ERA and pitched a perfect game against Atlanta, but the Diamondbacks scored two runs or fewer in 17 of his 35 starts.

Vazquez, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA for the Yankees. While he was picked for his first All-Star team, he won just once in his last nine regular-season starts and had a 9.53 ERA in three postseason games.

New York is giving Arizona $3 million in each of the next three seasons to cover part of Vazquez's salary. He gets $10.5 million in 2005, $11.5 million in 2006 and $12.5 million in 2007.

While completing the trade for Johnson, a 10-time All-Star, New York also is turning its attention this week to Carlos Beltran. The free-agent center fielder is to meet Tuesday with Mets general manager Omar Minaya, and faces a Saturday deadline to re-sign with the Houston Astros.

Sturtze, Yankees agree to one-year deal
Right-hander Tanyon Sturtze, the only Yankee eligible for salary arbitration, agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees him $1 million. He gets $850,000 this season, and the Yankees have a $1.5 million option for 2006 with a $150,000 buyout. Sturtze was 6-2 with a 5.47 ERA in three starts and 25 relief appearances last year and is looked at a fill-in starter behind Johnson, Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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