D-Backs confirm interest in Yanks' Big Unit

NEW YORK -- If the New York Yankees are serious about
trading Randy Johnson, the Arizona Diamondbacks would love to have
him back.

Arizona confirmed its talks with New York about the Big Unit,
who won four Cy Young Awards with the Diamondbacks from 1999-2004,
but thus far the Yankees' asking price has been too high.

"There's no activity at this point," Diamondbacks general
partner Jeff Moorad said Tuesday. "The Diamondbacks as an
organization have a tremendous amount of respect for Randy, yet
also recognize he's under contract to the Yankees. If there's ever
an opportunity that made sense to reacquire him, we'd be at the
head of the line."

The San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants also have talked
with New York about Johnson, a baseball official who had been
briefed on the talks said, speaking on condition of anonymity
because no deal had been agreed to.

Steve Phillips is not surprised that the Yankees are shopping Randy Johnson. The Diamondbacks have expressed interest in bringing him back and it may be too expensive to have an aged Johnson in the Yanks' starting rotation.

To hear who Steve thinks the Yankees should consider as a replacement, click hereInsider

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined comment on
Johnson, and Padres GM Kevin Towers didn't return messages seeking

If the Yankees do trade Johnson, who is owed $16 million next
year in the final season of his contract, New York would consider
pursuing Barry Zito, the top available starting pitcher on the
free-agent market.

Johnson, who lives in the Phoenix area, was 17-11 with a 5.00
ERA last season and is coming off back surgery on Oct. 26. He went
103-49 in six seasons with the Diamondbacks, leading the NL in ERA
three times and victories once.

He went 5-1 in the 2001 postseason, including 3-0 in Arizona's
seven-game World Series win over the Yankees.

Johnson enters next season with a 280-147 career record. He
waived his no-trade clause when the Diamondbacks traded him to the
Yankees after the 2004 season and would have to waive it again for
New York to deal him.

He has been a disappointment in New York despite a 34-19
regular-season record, going 0-1 with a 6.92 ERA in three
postseason appearances, and perhaps has become expendable. New
York's rotation also includes Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina, Andy
Pettitte and Kei Igawa -- who must complete his $20 million,
five-year agreement by Thursday. The Yankees also have oft-injured
right-hander Carl Pavano and a couple of touted pitching prospects.