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Pardon Me, Are You Interested in My Unit?
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The agreement between Barry Baked Ziti and the Giants is unequivocally the biggest news of the day (see this story for more details on the ridiculous $126 million contract), but there are other pricey pitchers making news to whom attention needs to be paid, and one of them is the Yankees' own Big Unit.

meddersRandy Johnson has apparently expressed a desire to work closer to his Phoenix home, and the Yanks have taken the opportunity to shop him around a bit. The Giants, Dodgers, Angels, and Padres have all expressed preliminary interest in the Mullet Man, but it is the Diamondbacks who are generating the most Unit trade buzz. The Yanks are working on a trade that would send the Unit and his unjustifiably large contract (he is due a whopping $16 million this year) to Arizona in exchange for 2 highly regarded pitching prospects (whose names I do not believe have been released) and a young but majors-ready reliever like Brandon Medders (above right; don't be fooled by the beard, he is in fact 9 years old) or Luis Vizcaino. The Yanks are after 23-year-old Medders, who has a 3.09 ERA in 102 innings over the past 2 years, but the D-Backs are hesitant to give him up and would rather send Vizcaino, who is 32 and has a 4.24 ERA over 8 seasons.

back surgeryRelocating the Unit could do wonders for the Yanks' 2007 situation. Due to his recent back surgery, Randy's status for opening day (and the whole season, really) is questionable at this point; his performance could be extremely impaired by the serious surgery (see left; carved up back + old age = please leave). With him gone, the Yanks would be forced to either bring up Phillip Hughes or do some serious wooing of the Rocket. Additionally, the trade would almost certainly bring a solid reliever to the Bronx in Medders or even Vizcaino, making the Melky-for-Gonzalez trade mentioned last week unnecessary. As for his salary - he is due an exorbitant $16 million for the 2007 season - the D-backs are indicating that they will not only pick up his salary but are also willing to give him an extension for 2008. That $16 million could be spent in any numbers of ways beneficial to the Bombers, from a Loretta signing to extra scouting.unit dbacks

The Unit does have a no-trade clause in his contract, but since the trade talk originated from his desire to work closer to home, a waiver on his part doesn't seem likely. If the Yankees can get Arizona to agree to send Medders instead of Vizcaino, I think the Unit could be back in teal and purple (see right, vomit) in just a few short weeks...

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, December 28, 2006  
  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why trade Johnson and make a hole in the rotation (Pavano?) to go along with the hole at 1b (Mientkavitz?)

  • At 9:02 PM, Blogger Mike Edelman said…

    As a Red Sox fan I'm pretty excited about the Yankees trading Johnson for prospects and replacing him with Pavano. Johnson may be old but he still has some upside.

  • At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Manny Being Manny said…

    I think the Yankees work out here, getting rid of an aging, probably near done starter, for prospects. Kind of a dumb move on the part of the Diamondbacks, but whatever. Though if Mike's correct in them replacing Johnson with Pavano, I feel this is part of a bigger deal, and that they'll make a harder [ush to bring back Pettitte's boyfriend Clemens so they can rent a brownstone together, and kick Pavano to the end of the rotation. He can be the Aaron Small of '07.

  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger jimithegreek said…

    Ever notice that the Yankee uniform never did fit right on Randy "The Big Dissapointment" Johnson?

  • At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Jacob said…

    I think sending Johnson back to Arizona would be a good move, and I highly doubt we'll see Pavano in the rotation. Not with Sanchez, Hughes, and Karstens waiting in the wings. One of the starters mentioned in the possible Unit trade is Micah Owings who went 10-0 with a 3.70 in Triple-A Tucson last year. He was expected to compete for a rotation slot this year. So you can probably add him to the list of those in front of Pavano.

  • At 4:01 AM, Blogger Corey & Carson said…

    Johnson is old but I hold out belief that he can still be effective.
    "Yankees Chick"- is that your picture at the top of the site?

  • At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Manny Being Manny said…

    Jacob, if that's true then the D-Backs are dumber than I thought. They aren't exactly a small market team, but theirs is a following that can survive the maturing process involved in letting a rookie slide into the rotation. Why let go of young, promising Owings for the Unit and a can of WD40? That said, one less lefty in the Yankee rotation is better for Boston.

  • At 3:13 AM, Blogger Corey & Carson said…

    Yankee Chick- I may hate the Yankees but I like you. I read your profile and see that you enjoy punk music. Corey & me love punk music, as we often infuse it into our Phils/Pirates blog. By the way a nice looking lady baseball fan is kick a$$ too!

  • At 8:50 AM, Blogger Maryland Orioles' Fan said…

    Wow. Awesome blog. You've done amazing work.

    The Johnson trade may backfire for the Yanks if he recovers and comes back to old in the desert of Arizona. He was not terrible, but he didn't do his job where it counts - in October.

    I know you all want Clemens, but I don't know if would have traded Johnson at all, since you can never have enough pitching.

    BTW, I added you to list of links via my blog...

    Anthony - http://oriolepost.blogspot.com

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