• Moving Johnson?

    Posted by on December 17th, 2006 · Comments (16)

    No, it’s not Costanza worrying about a reactional byproduct from getting a massage from a man. From the Post -

    Despite the buzz leaking out of the desert, Randy Johnson hasn’t asked the Yankees to deal him closer to his Arizona home.

    “He hasn’t called me officially and asked me to trade him, no,” GM Brian Cashman said yesterday when asked if the Big Unit requested the Yankees move him.

    Cashman, asked if he was attempting to move Johnson, who has a blanket no-trade clause and is 20 wins shy of 300, wouldn’t comment. Alan Nero, one of Johnson’s agents, said there was no truth to the rumor.

    “There is nothing coming out of our camp,” Nero said. “I don’t know where rumors start.”

    Note: The “He hasn’t called me officially” and “wouldn’t comment” parts.

    Sounds like the Yankees would love to move Randy back ‘home.’ I agree. Randy Johnson in 2007 is starting to smell too much like Kevin Brown in 2004 to me these days. It’s time for a courtesy flush.

    Comments on Moving Johnson?

    1. adam
      December 17th, 2006 | 10:21 am

      move him for a years supply of rosin bags

    2. JeremyM
      December 17th, 2006 | 10:42 am

      It’s not going to happen unless the Yankees eat a huge amount of his salary, so why even bother?

    3. baileywalk
      December 17th, 2006 | 10:43 am

      Here was my reaction when I read that in the paper this morning:

      “Pllllllllease, plllllllease be true!”

      I would LOVE to move Randy Johnson. I don’t think there’s a Yankee on the team I like less than this grumpy, over-the-hill, mean sonofabitch. I am so sick of seeing his frustrated, pockmarked face on the mound as he hangs another slider and gives up another home run and shakes his head, wondering how the hell he became so mortal. And if I never have to see him gnaw on a wade of bubblegum, like a cow chewing cud, I will be a happy man.

      If I was Cashman, I would put Randy’s name out there. You tell the teams they can have him for nothing if they take his entire salary (or most of it), a B-level prospect if the Yankees have to take on some of the salary, or an A-prospect if they expect the Yankees to take on significant salary.

      But whatever it takes — get this guy out of here. Now. Just do it. The Yankees are still babying this guy. Even when he has a 5 ERA, Cashman has to coddle him and say he’s an ace.

      Even if Pavano can’t get out of bed next year, one of the kids — even Clippard, who has innings on his arm — can step in and give you what Johnson did in ’06.

    4. JohnnyC
      December 17th, 2006 | 11:14 am

      As the article mentions, a Johnson to Seattle for Sexson deal would net the Yankees $2 million in savings in 2007 as well as solve their quest for a right-handed hitting first baseman. Since it looks like the Mariners FO has no idea what it wants to do, this could get done.

    5. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 17th, 2006 | 12:22 pm

      “I am so sick of seeing his frustrated, pockmarked face on the mound as he hangs another slider and gives up another home run and shakes his head*

      I couldn’t agree more. I hate that guy’s face, especially after ’01. He should have been the lone W.S. MVP. Eat his contract and get rid of him. Steve’s right. He is the current Kevin Brown.

    6. SeanJ
      December 17th, 2006 | 12:29 pm

      Well, that certainly is interesting. I don’t think there is anything to this rumor but lets just posit that it might be true.

      You can’t trade Johnson and Pavano, so if RJ goes Carl stays. Really its a “Pick your poison” game. I would rather trade Pavano unless there is good evidence that he can do a good job in the rotation this year. Pavano has two years still on his contract while RJ only has one. On top of that, if you put a gun to my head I’d have to say RJ is going to have a better year then Pavano.

      Remember, even though RJ stinks, at least I think he can go out and make 30 starts and keep his era between 4.5-5.0. The only reliable starters we have are Wang, Pettite and Mussina. We’re counting on two starters to come out of the Pavano, RJ, Igawa triumvirate but after trading RJ, both of those other two starters could turn out to be busts. And while we do have a glut of pitching in AAA, I’m sure Cashman doesn’t want to go to one of his blue chip prospects until mid season or 2008.

      That said, Richie Sexson at 1B would be pretty hot. He’s a great right handed bat to balance out the lineup and his defense, while not good, is still better then what you would get from Giambi.

    7. Chewbacca
      December 17th, 2006 | 2:04 pm

      I dont understand how anyone can possibly think this is a good idea. We have nobody and I mean absolutely nobody who we can count on to be healthy in this rotation. You cannot just give away RJ for nothing when at least he provides you with a chance to be a decent starter. With RJ, you always have the chance that he will for one game or two be the RJ of 2004 and be dominant. Clippard, Hughes, Rasner, or Karstens dont give any guarantees at all that they will even be effective nevermind dominant. RJ was decently effective in spite of his over 5 ERA and he gives you one more starter to throw in that may stay healthy. You cant just continue trade away people like we did Weaver for Brown, or Vazquez for Johnson. We would be better off letting him finish off his contract with us and hoping that possibility of being 20 wins away from 300 victories in his career is enough for RJ to step it up and have one more good year.

    8. baileywalk
      December 17th, 2006 | 2:44 pm

      Moose, Pettitte and Wang are all injury risks (I won’t even bother mentioning Pavano), but none of them are coming off back surgery. I would say that makes Johnson the biggest question mark.

      The only positive about Johnson’s ’06 is that he threw over 200 innings. But his walks were up and his strikeouts were down significantly. His numbers eroded two straight years in pinstripes — why would anything change in ’07?

      I don’t know if Hughes or Clippard (or Rasner) could give us 200 innings, but I do think any of them can give you a 5 ERA, which is what I expect out of Johnson again.

      Was there any game that Johnson started this year where you felt confident in him? When he wasn’t good, he was awful. And when he was good, he would tire in the 5th and start hanging sliders and end up turning a shutout into a nailbiter. Between his diminished ability and his attitude about his diminished ability, the Yankees should cut ties.

    9. brockdc
      December 17th, 2006 | 3:10 pm

      If Unit can somehow be unloaded for a couple of used jockstraps, I would imagine that Cash would sieze upon Rocket like Joel Sherman on a third-party rumor

    10. December 17th, 2006 | 3:40 pm

      Wang
      Mussina
      Pettitte
      Igawa
      Johnson
      Pavano

      Rasner
      Karstens
      Hughes
      Sanchez

      Clippard

      11 starters are currently under Yankee control. That is even too many for ML and AAA. Throw in Steven White and you have 12 pitchers.

      I doubt very much it is Johnson as I doubt very much any team would want him, his $16M salary, his 5.00 ERA or his back on their team.

      Someone, however, is getting traded.

    11. December 17th, 2006 | 4:54 pm

      Since Randy tires so quickly, do you think he could return to his dominant self as an 8th inning setup man? Since he would only have to go an inning at a time, he could bust out his old upper 90s fastball.

      Randy wouldn’t go for it due to his chance at 300 wins, but if something like this were to materialize, I could see a ring in our future.

    12. JeremyM
      December 17th, 2006 | 6:41 pm

      “seize upon Rocket like Joel Sherman on a third-party rumor”

      Too funny.

    13. antone
      December 17th, 2006 | 7:15 pm

      If you trade Johnson you have to find someone who is going to pitch the 200 innings you will be missing, I like Randy as the 4th starter, I don’t see anything wrong with that, anything more than a 4th than that’s a problem at least when the playoffs role around.

      Richie Sexson kind of scares me because of the all the K’s and he’s one of those HR all or nothing type of players the Yankees have been trying to rely on over the past few years. He does have a .994 fielding percentage though which is a little better than league avg, so I’m assuming unlike Giambi he can at least throw the ball haha

      I also don’t think you’ll see any of the young guys this year unless their starting pitching completely self-destructs, which is possible with the injury prone group they have right now.

    14. brockdc
      December 17th, 2006 | 7:16 pm

      Thanks for discretely cleaning up my spelling faux pas, JeremyM.

      I before E except after C. I before E except after C…

    15. Yu Hsing Chen
      December 17th, 2006 | 9:25 pm

      RJ at least pitches, which makes him 20M more valuable than Pavano already ;)

      Seriously though, at this stage if we trade RJ we should expect a Bobby Abreu like trade return, not good, the chances of him actually being decent to good again next year is actually far better than a CJ Henry type prospect being a legit big leaguer anytime soon

    16. gangof60
      December 18th, 2006 | 8:03 am

      It’s an intriguing rumor, given life by Cashman’s less than unequivocal denial. I would do a victory dance if the Yanks could jump Johnson. Those posters who feel a 43 year old who posted a higher than average ERA and whose power stats are diminishing faster than Republican poll ratings — a pitcher who is a shell of his former shelf — has much value are living in unreality. The odds are almost guaranteed that one of the pitchers among Hughes, Clippard, Rasner, Karstens, Sanchez, etc. could put up a league-average ERA or better. If they could get an A prospect (preferably a position player, a catcher ideally) or Sexson, the deal would be a coup for NY, even if in the former case they had to eat a lion’s share of Unit’s salary. Johnson at $16M is about as big a waste of resources as one can imagine. Plus, there’s always the possibility that the Yanks, if necessary, could pull in Clemens in July or whenver he feels like pitching again.

      Cashman should try to make the Gonzalez deal happen — again, dealing from strength to address weakness (lefty power reliever/future closer), and if possible to dump both RJ and Pavano.

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