Arizona reportedly signs Estes, too

Updated: January 11, 2005, 1:39 AM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Shawn Green and Javier Vazquez passed their physical examinations on Monday, the last hurdle before they could officially join the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Shawn Green

Javier Vazquez

Green was scheduled to be introduced at a news conference on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. on Monday night would not confirm a report that the team had signed pitcher Shawn Estes to a one-year contract.

However, Garagiola said, "we may have something on that [Tuesday]."

The East Valley Tribune of Mesa reported on its Web site that Estes, who lives in nearby Paradise Valley, signed a one-year contract worth between $2.5 million and $3 million. The left-hander was 15-5 with a 5.84 ERA for the Colorado Rockies last season. He also had been talking with the Washington Nationals, the franchise transplanted from Montreal, but liked the idea of pitching close to home.

Diamondbacks general partner Ken Kendrick has said that Vazquez, who had his best years with Montreal in the National League, will be part of the Arizona rotation, despite speculation that he could be traded.

Shawn Estes
Starting Pitcher
Colorado Rockies
34 15 8 0 117 5.84

The signing of Estes would leave Arizona with four experienced starters in its rotation after the trade of Randy Johnson to the New York Yankees -- Russ Ortiz, Vazquez, Estes and holdover Brandon Webb.

The Diamondbacks had to complete the Johnson trade before finalizing the deal that brings Green from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Los Angeles sends the left-handed slugger and $10 million to Arizona in exchange for catching prospect Dioner Navarro and minor league pitchers William Juarez, Danny Muegge and Beltran Perez.

The Yankees sent Vazquez, Navarro, pitcher Brad Halsey and $9 million to the Diamondbacks for five-time Cy Young winner Johnson.

Green, who is projected to play right field after spending much of last season at first base, waived his no-trade clause after agreeing to a three-year, $32 million contract with Arizona, voiding the one year and $16 million he had remaining on his old one. The new deal also has a no-trade clause, his agent Greg Genske said.

The latest moves leave the Diamondbacks with a vastly revamped lineup from the team that lost 111 games last season. Free agents signees fill three infield spots -- Troy Glaus at third base, Royce Clayton at shortstop and Craig Counsell at second.

The outfield has Luis Gonzalez in left and Green in right. The next move will be at center field. The Diamondbacks reportedly have interest in Eric Byrnes of the Oakland Athletics, who also could be the leadoff hitter the club lacks.

Among the candidates to be traded by Arizona are first baseman/third baseman Shea Hillenbrand, who is arbitration-eligible, and infielder Alex Cintron.

Earlier Monday, the Diamondbacks traded left-handed reliever Stephen Randolph to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press