Randy Johnson heads back to Arizona…

DMZ · January 4, 2007 at 3:03 pm · Filed Under General baseball 


ESPN link. There may be an extension involved.

Randy Johnson and some slice of salary for

RHP Luis Vizcaino
P Ross Ohlendorf
SS Alberto Gonzalez


40 Responses to “Randy Johnson heads back to Arizona…”

  1. marc w on January 4th, 2007 3:07 pm

    apparently ??? = Steven Jackson, a soon to be 25yo pitcher in AA.

  2. Spencer B on January 4th, 2007 3:08 pm

    RJ was an 11 win player in 2004, a 7 win player in ’05, and about 4 win last year. That’s a steep decline, and I wouldn’t bet too much on it stopping this year. I think the Yanks have done a decent job here by unloading a potential roster millstone and getting back a useful spare part in return.

  3. ChrisK on January 4th, 2007 3:12 pm

    Funny how in this year of massive contracts, the Yankees have done some of the more prudent (and financially sensible) deals of the offseason.

  4. Swungonandbelted on January 4th, 2007 3:25 pm

    This smells of a Bavasi deal… except he would have extended for two years, and probably given away even more.

    I can’t believe that anybody would be willing to take on teh Unit’s contract, much less extend it…

  5. adamt on January 4th, 2007 3:25 pm


    They’re the trend setters… got us on this binge of massive spending and now they’re turning the tables on us. Damn Yankees!

  6. marc w on January 4th, 2007 3:26 pm

    yes, funny in the way that poisonous spiders, chainsaw-wielding madmen and ‘Mariner prospect traded’ headlines are funny.

    Seriously, when the Yanks are better at getting bargains from minor league free agents than the M’s (Josh Phelps v Rey Ordonez), then I’m seriously scared. As many have speculated, it means that the business side (George) isn’t running the show as much, and the baseball people have more free rein to remake the team. But they still have a massive budget. Crap.

  7. Evan on January 4th, 2007 3:33 pm

    #2 – Randy’s peripheral stats make him the best pitcher on the 2007 Yankees. They just accidentally traded away their staff ace.

  8. waldo rojas on January 4th, 2007 3:37 pm

    Alberto Gonzales, huh? must…refrain…from…political…commentary…..on…USSM….

  9. jamier on January 4th, 2007 3:37 pm

    I thought the going rate for a relief pitcher and crappy prospects was approximately Horacio Ramirez??

  10. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on January 4th, 2007 3:39 pm

    See an earlier post by Dave(I think) on the merits of a Randy Johnson pick-up. I don’t know what Derek, Dave or the others think of the return parts of the deal (and how much the Yankees are picking up in salary), but I generally agree with the analysis in Dave’s post re: how good Randy still is today.

    As Dave put it (to very poorly paraphrase), he’s declined, but he was at such a high level and has so far to decline compared to the average pitcher, that he’s still among the better pitchers in the game despite that decline (or something like that).

  11. msb on January 4th, 2007 3:46 pm

    FWIW, the East Valley Tribune has it as:

    The Diamondbacks have agreed to package reliever Luis Vizcaino and minor league prospects Ross Ohlendorf, Steven Jackson and Alberto Gonzalez to the Yankees for Johnson and cash considerations, according to sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations. … Because of the extent of the talent the Yankees will receive, they have agreed to send $2 million to the Diamondbacks.

  12. Spencer B on January 4th, 2007 3:47 pm

    Even if you believe that RJ will arrest his decline this year, he’s a 4 win player making $16M. This is a bad contract. If his decline continues at the present rate, he’s a 1-2 win player, and you might as well have Horacio Ramirez.

    Now, given that his peripherals outpaced his numbers last year, he might bounce back some, but would you bet on it?

  13. shaunmc on January 4th, 2007 3:57 pm

    Steven Jackson?

    I really don’t see what use the Yankees have for the Pacers’ swingman. He’s got some serious anger issues, too.

  14. Cynical Optimist on January 4th, 2007 4:01 pm

    I’d be interested in others’ views but I don’t think those prospects are terribly well-regarded. Could this be the Yankees first-ever salary dump?

  15. Thingray on January 4th, 2007 4:03 pm

    They are only dumping salary to turn around and throw a bucket of it at Roger Clemens.

  16. Mr. Egaas on January 4th, 2007 4:06 pm

    Steven Jackson?

    I really don’t see what use the Yankees have for the Pacers’ swingman. He’s got some serious anger issues, too.

    He’s also a helluva running back for the St. Louis Rams.

    Talk about doing triple time.

  17. yellowmoth on January 4th, 2007 4:07 pm

    This seems to be a stadium-filling decision, more than a baseball one, really. The BoB, or whatever the hell they call it now, was awfully empty and quiet when I visited last summer.

  18. Phoenician Todd on January 4th, 2007 4:10 pm

    It’s now Chase Field and I am excited that he is coming back down here. I’ve been a fan of his ever since he was a Mariner and I hope that he is able to get his 300th win after next year.

  19. yellowmoth on January 4th, 2007 4:12 pm

    18—I hope so too. RJ’s one of my all-time faves, used to take the evenings off so I could catch his starts at the Kingdome. I wouldn’t have minded him filling our quickly-emptying stadium either. 🙂

  20. marc w on January 4th, 2007 4:23 pm

    14 –
    Yeah, I’m with you – this is a salary dump (and a big one). Steven Jackson is a soft-tossing righty who’ll be 25 next year. Gets hit a lot, but used his GB-heavy arsenal to put up a nice line last year. Alberto Gonzales is basically nothing, it seems to me – the destitute man’s Asdrubal Cabrera (he’s got a bit of patience, but his old for his leagues and has no power). Ohlendorf (a princeton tiger) is another GB guy, though not as extreme as Jackson, and he’s managed to keep his walks quite low. That said, he doesn’t get Ks, isn’t terribly young, and so he’s not a bigtime prospect. For reference, Jackson and Ohlendorf were the #19 and 20 prospects in the AZ org according to John Sickels.

  21. marc w on January 4th, 2007 4:29 pm

    I should mention that Sickels had Gonzales at #18 – these were three fringy prospects, and I shouldn’t have dismissed Gonzales that much. But seriously, a glovy, no-hit SS who’s going to be 24 in AA? eh, I’ll pass.

  22. BobbyRoberto on January 4th, 2007 4:39 pm

    Randy isn’t the ace he was 2 years ago but his 5.00 ERA last season wasn’t reflective of his peripherals (his Fielding Independent ERA was 4.37). He still has a solid K/9 (7.7) and is moving to the weaker league. The biggest drawback to going to Arizona is the ballpark.

    His peripherals from ’05 compare well to Jason Schmidt, who signed a 3-year, $47M contract:
    Johnson–4.37 FIP, 41.7 GB%, 7.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 2.9 K/BB
    Schmidt–3.99 FIP, 37.4 GB%, 7.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 2.2 K/BB

    Obviously, Randy’s quite old and a big risk but the NL West is there for the taking for the D-Backs and they didn’t give up any of their most highly-regarded young prospects.

  23. Spencer B on January 4th, 2007 4:44 pm

    This is not the first ever Yanks salary dump! It’s not even the first one since the end of the season.

    I agree that this makes a Rocket Rog sighting in NY look pretty good. For the amount of money he’ll make, he could buy Texas in put it in Westchester County so he could be close to home.

  24. Steve Nelson on January 4th, 2007 5:05 pm

    Swungonandbelted said:
    January 4th, 2007 at 3:25 pm

    This smells of a Bavasi deal… except he would have extended for two years, and probably given away even more.

    Had this been a Bavasi deal he would have approached the deal as follows:

    He would have settled with the Yankees on what he considered to be an even talent exchange.

    He would have looked at how much salary the Mariners would be committing to under the transaction, and how much salary the Yankees would likely pay for the players they were receiving during the term of the contract.

    Third: He would have asked the Yankees to contribute to the deal the amount of salary that would be going to the playes the Mariners traded.

    Thus the talent exchange would be considered equal and the Mariners would be out of pocket the difference in salary obligations.

    As nearly as I can tell, that’s how the Vidro deal seemed to be put together.

  25. terry on January 4th, 2007 5:07 pm

    Is anyone having a better offseason than Cashman and the Yankees?

  26. PLU Tim on January 4th, 2007 5:30 pm

    Woah, they got The Big Eunuch for the St. Louis Rams’ running back and the US attorney General?

    What could the M’s get for Bill Clinton and Ladanian Tomlinson?

  27. Mat on January 4th, 2007 5:47 pm

    Is anyone having a better offseason than Cashman and the Yankees?

    Cashman’s having a pretty good offseason, but I don’t know if I like this deal so much for them. Ohlendorf dropped from 8.25 K/9 in A-ball to 6.33 K/9 in AA (with a league average strikeout rate of 7.57 K/9), so that has to be a concern. His ~47% GB% is right around average for AA. His walk rate is nice, but you’ve got to miss bats or induce ground balls to succeed at the major league level, and it doesn’t look like Ohlendorf is very good at either. It’s his first go around at AA, but he is 24, so for a very good pitching prospect, I’m thinking you’d be expecting a lot more than Ohlendorf has shown.

    Vizcaino has had a weird career path recently, especially considering his spike in strikeouts last year, but I’d say the smart money is on Vizcaino going back to being nothing special next year.

    Gonzalez has no power, so he’d better have an awfully good glove, or he doesn’t fit anywhere. (And if his K/BB ratio goes back up towards 2 again, he might not keep his batting average up, either.)

    Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson had a pretty solid season last year (4.37 FIP last season compared to Felix’s 3.99 FIP, all before adjusting for park), and is signed to a short-term commitment. Combined with the reported extension that the D-Backs are offering Johnson, I don’t really like this deal much for either team.

  28. Mat on January 4th, 2007 5:53 pm

    Randy’s peripheral stats make him the best pitcher on the 2007 Yankees. They just accidentally traded away their staff ace.

    Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang say “Hi Evan!” Moose and Wang had better FIP’s and xFIP’s than Johnson, and Mussina was better than Randy in a big way. Mussina definitely looks better than Johnson going forward, and Wang has done essentially the same thing for the last two years, so I don’t see any reason for him to decline.

    That said, Randy Johnson is still a valuable pitcher–he just didn’t figure to be the Yanks’ ace next year.

  29. jamier on January 4th, 2007 6:56 pm

    Randy Johnson is still a valuable pitcher–he just didn’t figure to be the Yanks’ ace next year.

    ZIPS disagrees.

  30. Ralph on January 4th, 2007 7:06 pm

    Oh, well if “Zips” says it, that’s good enough for… someone, I suppose.

  31. Cynical Optimist on January 4th, 2007 7:39 pm

    23 – If you’re referring to Sheffield, the Tigers gave up a couple, maybe even 3 real prospects in that deal. The Hardball Times 2007 annual calls P Humberto Sanchez the 13th best prospect in baseball. So, that was a sensible deal from both a financial and a baseball standpoint. This just smells of a salary dump. And not that I have any objection to that, I’m just trying to remember it ever happening before.

  32. Jeremy on January 4th, 2007 7:46 pm


    Or it smells of a guy who didn’t want to pitch there anymore and wanted to be close to home and family.

  33. Ralph_Malph on January 4th, 2007 8:30 pm

    Alberto Gonzales, huh? must…refrain…from…political…commentary…..on…USSM….

    Funny thing is when I read this I was thinking Alberto Gonzales was the guy who went on the motorcycle trip with Che Guevara, not the AG. (a quick Google check reminds me that was Alberto Granada)

  34. jaysbaseballfan on January 4th, 2007 8:33 pm

    The only thing here is his back surgery, but obviously its not that bad if the Diamondbacks wanted him so badly. I think RJ can do well in the NL, and he knows the league pretty well too. And much fewer guys are on steroids than when he was in his prime (Bonds). Given the price of pitching, 14 million is a lot, but not astronomoical for a pitcher, especially if they pay him 10 million next year. And the attendance thing helps too. I hope the Yanks don’t get Clemens, and I don’t see why he would want to come to New York that much….otherwise, I think they’ll miss his innings a lot.

  35. metz123 on January 4th, 2007 10:15 pm

    The Yankees are getting freaking brilliant at dumping players that they a) Don’t want and b) signed to contracts with large back ends.

    They used to be brilliant at hyping their minor league prospects and getting other clubs to take their crappy prospects in trade for established veterans in mostly lopsided deals.

    Now they’ve turned a new leaf. If I was a team trading with the Yanks I’d be asking them to pick up a heck of a lot more than $2 million on a deal like RJ has and I wouldn’t offer them any decent prospects in return.

  36. Mat on January 4th, 2007 10:41 pm

    ZIPS disagrees.

    ZIPS might disagree, but I personally find it fairly unlikely that Randy Johnson is going to revert straight back to his 2005 form after he did worse across the board in 2006 than in 2005 and he ages from 42 to 43. Johnson had good peripherals this year, but not so good for me to turn a blind eye to his age and a second straight year of significantly declining strikeout rate.

  37. Slippery Elmer on January 4th, 2007 11:15 pm

    #34, jaysbaseballfan

    14 million is a lot, but not astronomoical for a pitcher, especially if they pay him 10 million next year.

    Does the amount the Diamondbacks apparently still owe Johnson through 2014, $44 million, factor into your numbers? Or are the $14/$10 million figures on top of that deferred money?

  38. Slippery Elmer on January 4th, 2007 11:16 pm

    Sorry, I meant to type 2012, not 2014.

  39. jaysbaseballfan on January 5th, 2007 8:08 am


    I don’t get how that defferred money has anything to do with it…they’d owe it to him anyway right? I don’t even know why team’s do deferred money or how it works too much…maybe they’ll give him a stake in the team…even a 10% would be a pretty sizeable chunk. I wonder how much Billy Beane owes. If he was signed for 6 years or so, and makes a milloin a year (random guess), then it’d be something more like 2%.

  40. hbobrien on January 6th, 2007 2:58 pm

    #18: “Chase Field,” eh? I assume because Chase bought Bank One?

    I swear… Yet more evidence that one could put together a well-performing short stock portfolio out of the companies stupid enough to buy naming rights to stadia (3Com, PacBell, Qwest, Enron, Qualcomm all come to mind).

    On topic, I think we should just refer to where the Mariners play as “Mariner Field,” and have done with it.

    (Not so on topic, I wish Ivar was still alive, so he could buy the naming rights to Seahawk Stadium, and call it “The Clamshell” — ’cause god knows that’s what it looks like. Trouble is, showman that he was, Ivar would never make as stupid a business move as naming rights.)

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