Johnson agreed Sunday to a $26 million, two-year contract with
Arizona, leaving only physicals and final approvals to complete his
trade from the New York Yankees.
Johnson was to take his physical Monday, and the trade likely
will be finalized Tuesday. Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes
confirmed the agreement but otherwise declined comment until after
the medical information is reviewed.
New York, which acquired the Big Unit from Arizona two years
ago, would receive reliever Luis Vizcaino, minor league
right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson, and minor league
shortstop Alberto Gonzalez.
"We're very excited and very happy for Randy. We think it's a
win-win for everybody," said Alan Nero, who represents Johnson
along with Barry Meister. "It was very complex because there was a
lot of legal work -- it was the third time the contract has been
redone. Other than that, I think it went very smoothly."
Johnson, a 43-year-old left-hander who lives in the Phoenix
area, was owed $16 million this year in the final season of his
January 2005 contract with the Yankees, a deal that called for $1.5
million to be deferred without interest until 2010.
Because of the cash involved, commissioner Bud Selig must
approve the trade. The players' association also might want to
review the restructuring of his contract.
If the trade goes through, Johnson would join an Arizona
starting rotation that includes reigning Cy Young winner
Brandon Webb, Livan Hernandez and Doug Davis. In their only other major
move in the offseason, the Diamondbacks acquired the left-handed
Davis from Milwaukee in a six-player deal that sent catcher
Johnny Estrada to the Brewers.
Johnson's new deal calls for a $12 million signing bonus, of
which $3.5 million is payable this year, $500,000 in 2008 and $4
million each in 2009 and 2010, a baseball official with knowledge
of the negotiations told The Associated Press, speaking on
condition of anonymity because the terms weren't disclosed in
Sunday's announcement. Johnson gets salaries of $4 million this
year and $10 million in 2008.
As part of the trade, New York would pay $2 million of Johnson's
salary this year. That means Arizona would be responsible for $24
million: $5.5 million this year, $10.5 million in 2008 and $4
million each in 2009 and 2010.
In addition, the Diamondbacks owe the five-time Cy Young Award
winner just over $44 million, including accrued interest, from
2007-12. That money was earned by Johnson when he pitched for
Arizona from 1999-2004, winning four Cy Youngs.
Johnson, who has a no-trade clause, had until 5 p.m. ET Sunday
to reach an extension under a 72-hour window granted Thursday by
the commissioner's office. His agents held several telephone
discussions with the Diamondbacks to reach the agreement.
Johnson's new agreement came two years and one day after he
agreed to his extension with the Yankees. He went 103-49 with the
Diamondbacks and helped them beat the Yankees in the 2001 World
Series, going 3-0 against New York. He went 17-11 with a 5.00 ERA
last season, and had back surgery Oct. 26.
He failed to win both of his postseason starts with the Yankees,
and on Friday the Daily News ran a back-page headline that read: