• One Thing To Remember About The Johnson Trade

    Posted by on December 29th, 2006 · Comments (36)

    The Daily News is reporting that the Yankees should be able to deal Randy Johnson away before next week. And, when this happens, many Yankees fans will credit Brian Cashman for being smart with this move.

    However, Yankees fans should remember that it was Cashman who, in the end, gave up Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, Randy Choate, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and $41 million to get Randy Johnson here in the first place.

    Therefore, with a trade of Randy Johnson now, Brian Cashman is not saving the day for the Yankees – more so, he’s just trying to correct a huge mistake that he made in the first place.

    Comments on One Thing To Remember About The Johnson Trade

    1. December 29th, 2006 | 9:26 am

      True Steve. The way I’ll give him credit if he pulls it off though is this….

      It’s not often in sports management that you get to reverse a mistake you made. First you have to actually admit to yourself that you made one, and second you have to get someone else to help you pick up the pieces. If you do both of those things you deserve a pat on the back. It’s true in life, and double so in sports.

    2. Garcia
      December 29th, 2006 | 9:51 am

      Steve, your grasping here. Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera were part of the Javy deal and EVERY Yankee fan thought it was the right move. That was an organizational move rather than simply a GM move. The events of 2004 happened (that’s the Yankee fans 9/11) and we saw we needed an ace AND Javy wasn’t cut-out to pitch in NY, or even against the Indians.

      The Yanks had to make a move and RJ was the ACE, stopper, the Yanks needed. From top to bottom in the organization RJ was the answer, at least for the majority.

      For me it’s hard to hold Cashman accountable for the Javy and RJ moves. It’s like holding Theo responsible for Dice-K, that’s IF he bombs, when everyone in the organization is salivating for the guy. Holding Theo responsible for J.D. Drew, Clement, Renteria, etc, makes sense.

      Holding Cashman responsible fore Pavano, Wright, Womack, etc, then that makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense to hold him responsible for RJ and Javy. Go back and look at the Yankees situation then and tell me what you were thinking? I know I wandered off around this thing called the World Wide Web, and a lot of the Yankee fans caught up in this web were posting many happy comments about the opportunity to see Javy pitch for the Yankees for the next 4 – 5 years as an ace.

      Let’s not rewrite history and at least not have some perspective here.

    3. December 29th, 2006 | 10:04 am

      FWIW, WW was not around at the time of the Vazquez or Johnson deals, but, these posts made elsewhere show you what I was thinking at the time:

      http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/showthread.php?t=7804

      http://www.netshrine.com/vbulletin2/showthread.php?t=16316

      For those who do not want to look at the links, I was upset that the Yankees gave up Nick Johnson and I thought that the Unit trade could end up as good as the Britt Burns deal did for the Yankees.

      Therefore, not every Yankees fan thought these were the right moves.

    4. Ghostwheel
      December 29th, 2006 | 10:21 am

      I never blamed Cashman for the unit deal. That was a George move. George wanted him, and Cash had to go get him.

      More, I think this shows that George is not the motivating force behind the Yankees anymore. Cashman is trading George(Unit, Sheff)guys for young talent.

    5. Garcia
      December 29th, 2006 | 10:22 am

      The 2nd link didn’t work.

      However, from scanning through your comments from the first link it didn’t seem like you were deadset against the Javy deal. You weren’t questioning bringing Javy to the Yanks, but whether the Yanks should give up Nick. Unfortunately, the Yankees just can’t stick up teams for their players so they had to give up something to get something.

      On a completely unrelated point, I’m reading the book “The Bronx is Burning” and I can’t put the f’ing thing down. I was only two then. Those were crazy times and the stories about Billy are even better than I ever imagined, he was seriously mentally deranged. Wow…somoeone should a copy to ARod and Pussvano, that’s if they think they have it tough now.

    6. MJ
      December 29th, 2006 | 10:45 am

      I guess I have a hangover this morning because when I saw “Pussvano” I actually wondered if we had a new player. I simply call him “Carla.”

      Bronx is Burning was indeed an enjoyable book. I was born in 1975 so I too missed out on the Bronx Zoo years.

    7. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 10:46 am

      Was the RJ trade really a mistake? One good year, one bad year. And the bad year he had may or may not be attributed to luck.

      As I said in the other thread, you have to give up quality to get quality. Unit had a fine season in 2004. Vazquez had a good season in 2003 and seemed to be poised to break out.

      I’d make both deals again. And I’d still hold on to Johnson if it weren’t for the fact (assuming what was reported is true) that he wanted to be closer to home and his family.

    8. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 10:47 am

      Also, the Unit deal turned out better than the Burns deal; RJ actually pitched for the Yanks :)

    9. December 29th, 2006 | 10:57 am

      ~~The 2nd link didn’t work.~~

      It’s fixed now.

    10. baileywalk
      December 29th, 2006 | 11:01 am

      I don’t think you’re being fair to Cashman, Steve. You can’t look at every trade simply by the outcome. You have to look at it from the reasonable expectation when it was first made.

      The Vazquez trade, when it happened, was a great one for the Yankees — and a smart, new-direction one for Cashman. Nick Johnson was always hurt and Rivera was a spare part. In return they got a young stud pitcher who was great on a bad team (I guess the whole NL-to-AL thing wasn’t quite as obvious then).

      I loved that deal then and I still love it today — because even though it “failed” (debatable, since Vazquez only had one year to pitch here), it’s the exact type of move you need to make to stay competitive (losing something you’d like to keep for young starting pitching).

      Cashman didn’t want to get rid of Vazquez. The Tampa guys and George wanted Unit and Cashman had to make it happen. It’s really hard to blame Cashman for anything that happened around that time; it’s obvious that he had no control (Womack, Wright, etc.).

      As for the current Randy Johnson deal, the “Daily News” says “The Yankees, meanwhile, have their eyes on a package of Arizona pitching prospects. The Diamondbacks are loaded with young talent and if the Yankees send Johnson home to Arizona — Johnson’s home is in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley — they’d like to get at least two of the following three pitchers: Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings and Ross Ohlendorf.”

      If this is what the Yankees are asking for, then we better expect to see the Unit in pinstripes again next year. There’s NO WAY the D’Backs are giving up ANY of them, let alone TWO! The Padres are offering up Scott Linebrink, which seems more realistic.

      The only way the D’Backs would make that deal is if the Yankees pick up most or all of Randy’s salary. I say that’s a smart move — “buying” some prospects — but the Yankees don’t seem inclined to do so.

    11. Garcia
      December 29th, 2006 | 11:27 am

      My apologies, MJ. I hadn’t realized I misspelled Pavano’s name. Must have been one of those Freudian slips.

    12. December 29th, 2006 | 11:51 am

      baileywalk I dont understand why you dont see the value in RJ. He is at this point in his career a slightly above average innings eater. He will most likely give the DBacks 200 innings of high 3 ERA pitching. The switch out west is going to help him a lot. He pitched a lot of last year with a back problem which is probably why he suffered so greatly with runners on base.

      Secondly if you want to evaluate Cashman in the way that this post wants to it would be best to say he gave up, Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, Randy Choate, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and $41 million to get two years of Randy Johnson, a year of Javier Vasquez and whatever he gets in this trade. He is basically getting a redo as only Nick Johnson and Dioner Navarro really would have helped the Yanks last year. There is no way to tell that Vasquez was going to be so bad in his Yankee time. Everywhere else he has gone he has been slightly above average with the ERA and good strikeout numbers. He just blew up in NYC. I dont blame Cashman.

    13. SeanJ
      December 29th, 2006 | 12:10 pm

      Baileywalk, I’m in total agreement with you on the Vasquez/Johnson trade. The Vasquez trade was a good one and if a similar trade came up I’d probably make the trade again. Remember Vasquez was an all star in 2004 before he declined later in the year and his pitching performance in the playoffs, while awful, was just as effective as Johnson. I would have liked to see him for a second year.

      As for the Johnson trade, thats on the Johnson trade, that was a Steinbrenner move that Cashman got forced in to.

    14. December 29th, 2006 | 12:18 pm

      I don’t think it is fair to take all the players in every deal leading up to one set trade.

      They were two separate transactions made in separate years.

      Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera went to the Expos.

      Javier Vazquez, Navarro, and Halsey went to the Diamondbacks.

      I also agree with Baileywalk in that you can’t judge a transaction purely on result.

      For example, I would easily make the Jeff Weaver for Kevin Brown deal again.

      I also agree that Cashman had no leverage for the Randy JOhnson thing. Steinbrenner wanted him, Cashman had to get him. (and even so, in that deal, the only player we would want back is Navaro, although the extension is what killed us).

    15. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 29th, 2006 | 12:48 pm

      “You weren’t questioning bringing Javy to the Yanks, but whether the Yanks should give up Nick”

      Steve, that is also what I gathered from your posts. I can understand you not wanting to give up Nick, but only a fool would have been against bringing in Javy. Personally, I thought Javy was the one SO pitcher that could overcome the umpires. For some strange reason, I thought then about Javy as I do now about Johan. I figured that because Javy’s stuff was so filthy, we wouldn’t have to depend on fairness from umpires, but rather, people would be swinging through his filth left and right. And hindsight is 20/20, and nobody can blame the spotlight of New York for Javy’s downfall. Javy was pretty good in the 1st half, so the umpires decided they couldn’t have that any longer.

      “Unfortunately, the Yankees just can’t stick up teams for their players so they had to give up something to get something.”

      Garcia, we can’t get handed players for nothing like the Sox. The Sox don’t stick up teams for their players. Those teams happily oblige because their goals are to make money and hurt the Yanks by helping the Sox, rather than to make money and win the W.S.

    16. baileywalk
      December 29th, 2006 | 12:59 pm

      baileywalk I dont understand why you dont see the value in RJ. He is at this point in his career a slightly above average innings eater. He will most likely give the DBacks 200 innings of high 3 ERA pitching. The switch out west is going to help him a lot. He pitched a lot of last year with a back problem which is probably why he suffered so greatly with runners on base.
      ——————-

      Hey, I think Johnson is going to go back to the NL and kick major ass. I think a slightly above-average pitcher in the AL is a near-great pitcher in the NL. Johnson has throw 200+ innings two straight years in the Bronx and I think he will do the same in Arizona. He WILL help the D’Backs, BU-UT…

      He IS 43, he IS coming off two straight declining years, he IS coming off back surgery, and he IS making 16 million dollars. Which is why I don’t think the D’Backs will give up two upper-level pitching prospects if they have to also pay RJ’s salary. If the Yankees pick up the bulk, then fine, but if not, it would be crazy for the D’Backs to make the deal (in my opinion).

      Put it this way: reverse the roles and put Johnson back on the D’Backs. He’s coming off his worst year and he had back surgery in the off-season. And he’s making sixteen million in ’07. Would you trade Clippard and Sanchez for him?

      I wouldn’t.

    17. Garcia
      December 29th, 2006 | 1:09 pm

      DonnieDosTres, you seem like a pretty interesting guy, I’d like to know what you think about other conspiracy theories:

      Do you think it was the Jews that flew planes into those two buildings on 9/11?

      Do you think Apollo 11 ever did land on the moon?

      Do you think the U.S blew up the levees in New Orleans?

      Do you think the U.S Air Force is hiding Martian aliens in Area 51?

      I’m interested in knowing what other conspiracies you believe in, too. I’m not poking fun, I just find your repetition and clamoring on the fact that the Yanks are always getting screwed and the big bad Bo-Sox are always getting over quite, how should I put it, interesting.

      Since the Yankees last won the Series, they have won: 95, 103, 101, 101, 95, and 97 games. If I were to believe the Yanks have been screwed (like you say) by the umps and the Red Sox have benefited from most, if not all, of all their baseball related transactions then the Yankees have overcome some serious adversity. The Yankees are like Cinderella Man.

    18. David
      December 29th, 2006 | 1:29 pm

      Steve, it sounds like you’re saying that Cashman, now that he has full power, is dumping the guys who weren’t his. That’s pretty normal behavior, but I think it’s a mistake. Johnson will be gone in a year regardless. I’d prefer to get a year’s value out of him, rather than give him away.

    19. Zack
      December 29th, 2006 | 1:43 pm

      I, for one, think that if we DO, in fact, get two of the prospects mentioned AND Arizona takes on most of the contract, then there is reason to celebrate. Out of Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, Randy Choate, Brad Halsey, Dioner Navarro and $41 million, only Johnson and Rivera have/will amount to much. Choate and Halsey are throw ins really; Navarro could help us and might be a decent catcher, but he might not. Rivera relly only has one productive season under his belt.

      So, in essence, trading Johnson, Rivera, and Navarro for two top pitching prospects plus two years of 200+ innings etc of Johnson ain’t so bad.

      Just look at how much travel all of those guys have under them, we aren’t really talking about franchise players here…

    20. December 29th, 2006 | 1:55 pm

      ~~~Steve, it sounds like you’re saying that Cashman, now that he has full power, is dumping the guys who weren’t his. ~~~

      Not really. I’m not convinced that Vazquez, and then the need to get rid of him for Johnson, was not all Cashman.

    21. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 3:15 pm

      Not really. I’m not convinced that Vazquez, and then the need to get rid of him for Johnson, was not all Cashman.
      ===============
      I also don’t think this was a case of Cashman wanting to get rid of one of George’s/Tampa’s guys.

      The Yanks had to give up Vazquez to get Johnson. AZ wanted, needed a ML starter in return for RJ. For the problems he had in the 2nd half, he was the best chip the Yanks had to deal (or at least the Yanks were willing to part with).

      A pitcher of Unit’s caliber becomes available, you have to look into getting him. I’d do that trade again. I’d look to trade for Santana too if he somehow becomes available.

      On a related note, given the way contracts are going, don’t be suprised if Santana becomes the first billion dollar player… lol

      Not bad for a Rule V pick, eh?

    22. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 29th, 2006 | 3:32 pm

      “Since the Yankees last won the Series, they have won: 95, 103, 101, 101, 95, and 97 games.”

      Garcia, when I saw that same line mentioned previously on WW, it was said that the Yankees have been a failure the last 6 years. I do, however agree with you. Making the playoffs is the only way to win the W.S., so a GM must build a team to first make the playoffs, then win the W.S. The reason why we won those amount of games was because we were ready and willing to spend boatloads of money, and the money we spent offset the umpires in the regular season. Unfortunately for us, when it gets to postseason time, the umpires make it their primary goal to screw us over, therefore, leaving us with little possibility of winning it all. Also, when postseason rolls around, MLB only uses the “best” umpires. And how do you think they determine the best umpires. It’s no coincidence that Tim McClelland is involved in every postseason, because Tim screws the Yankees like a $2 whore. Even when Boone hit is ALCS homer, Tim stood there looking directly at home plate to make absolutely certain that Boone touched it.

    23. December 29th, 2006 | 3:34 pm

      ~~~Tim McClelland is involved in every postseason, because Tim screws the Yankees like a $2 whore. ~~~

      Huh, didn’t he call Brett out for using too much pine-tar?

    24. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 4:03 pm

      The reason why we won those amount of games was because we were ready and willing to spend boatloads of money, and the money we spent offset the umpires in the regular season. Unfortunately for us, when it gets to postseason time, the umpires make it their primary goal to screw us over, therefore, leaving us with little possibility of winning it all.
      ===========
      Well, there ya go. You need to start spending $$ on umpires; how much did the Yanks pay Richie Garcia to botch the Maier call? Or was that a conspiracy to screw the O’s, because of Angelos’ position during the strike?

      Who worked the last game of the season in 2005? I bet it was McClelland. I bet he was telling the Sox hitters what was coming. I mean, homefield advantage was at stake. Had the Yanks won that game, gm 3 would’ve been in sunny california. and Johnson would’ve struck out 27 batters, because there wouldn’t have been a rain delay because [Tony, Toni, Tone]It never rains in Southern California[/Tony, Toni, Tone] and Sheffield and Bubba would never have collided because they would’ve played game 5 in NY.

    25. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 4:07 pm

      Huh, didn’t he call Brett out for using too much pine-tar?
      ================
      He also called balls & strikes for Boomer’s perfect game. But they don’t count because they happened during the regular season. Umpires are only out to get the Yanks during the postseason.

    26. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 29th, 2006 | 5:12 pm

      David Well perfect game:

      Matt Lawton, Brent Gates, Paul Molitor, Marty Cordova, Ron Coomer, Alex Ochoa, Jon Shave, Javier Valentin, Pat Meares is a minor-league lineup sans 1, and that 1 was a 42 year old who was ready to be put out to pasture. Only four K’s were called strike 3′s. Valentin (2), Shave (1), and Cordova (1). Those are some serious stars!!!!! Career losers. Shave: 160 career AB, out of league in 3 yrs. Valentin: Career .241 avg. w/ 176 K’s in 949 AB, basically 5th string catcher. Cordova: career 792 OPS for a corner OF, there’s a star in the making!!!!

      George Brett:

      Hmmm…I seem to remember that game having to be replayed because that call was overturned. I guess Tim made a mistake by MLB’s standards, and was sure to never make the same mistake again. First, Tim McClelland never took the initiative to make the call. Nettles alerted Martin as to the bat & Martin took the bat to Tim. Tim followed what was in the rulebook and made the right call. Second, MLB upheld the protest, saying that the call was not in the spirit of the rule…complete BS which brings me to my next point. Up until now, I thought it was implied that MLB hates the Yankees as well, but I guess none of you are wearing any thinking caps. Maybe they tried to institute a salary cap and settled for luxury tax to help the Yankees. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!!!

      Maier call:

      It’s a lot different making a mistake because of poor positioning by an umpire and consciously calling balls and strikes. Balls and strikes are a decision made by an umpire, while Maier and Knoblauch are two mistakes made because of bad positioning.

    27. DonnieDosTresBaseball
      December 29th, 2006 | 5:31 pm

      Oh, by the way, I guess you were unable to understand some of my post Raf. I never said to spend money on umpires. If I may quote myself, “The reason why we won those amount of games was because we were ready and willing to spend boatloads of money, and the money we spent offset the umpires in the regular season.”

      What that means is, we spent $200 million to make our team good enough to where we can win despite the umpires’ screwjobs and get in the postseason. However, when it gets to the postseason, we are facing far better quality competition, and the umpires go into full-throttle overdrive to do what needs to be done.

    28. Garcia
      December 29th, 2006 | 6:25 pm

      DonnieDosTres, when you are done taking hits from the bong can you pass it down? I need some of that in my system…you know…to welcome in the new year and all that jazz.

      Wait a second, you aren’t drinking the bong water, RIGHT?

    29. Chewbacca
      December 29th, 2006 | 6:30 pm

      “Who worked the last game of the season in 2005? I bet it was McClelland. I bet he was telling the Sox hitters what was coming. I mean, homefield advantage was at stake. Had the Yanks won that game, gm 3 would’ve been in sunny california. and Johnson would’ve struck out 27 batters, because there wouldn’t have been a rain delay because [Tony, Toni, Tone]It never rains in Southern California[/Tony, Toni, Tone] and Sheffield and Bubba would never have collided because they would’ve played game 5 in NY.”

      Funny you mention that Red Sox Raf, because if you remember correctly, which I’m sure you don’t, the Red Sox controlled their own destiny and needed to win that game to guarantee themselves of the playoffs, hence the reason for Suck-A** Schill starting. Again, if you remember correctly, the Rangers benched all their starters against the Angels, essentially handing them the home-field advantage.
      I’d like to make a revision: I prefer Brown-tongue Schill over Suck-A** Schill.

    30. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 8:12 pm

      Oh, by the way, I guess you were unable to understand some of my post Raf.
      =========
      Correction; I don’t understand most of your posts…

    31. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 8:22 pm

      Again, if you remember correctly, the Rangers benched all their starters against the Angels, essentially handing them the home-field advantage.
      ===========
      Torre started Wright, essentially handing them home field advantage. The Indians lost, guaranteeing the Sox would be in the playoffs.

      Of course had the Yanks beat the Halos during the regular season, they would’ve had home field advantage.

      Must’ve been the umps fault…

    32. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 8:25 pm

      And please keep your sexual fantasies to yourself; this is a family site :)

    33. December 29th, 2006 | 8:36 pm

      Last warning guys, let’s all play nice or else no one gets to play at all. Thanks.

    34. Raf
      December 29th, 2006 | 9:11 pm

      He IS 43, he IS coming off two straight declining years, he IS coming off back surgery, and he IS making 16 million dollars. Which is why I don’t think the D’Backs will give up two upper-level pitching prospects if they have to also pay RJ’s salary. If the Yankees pick up the bulk, then fine, but if not, it would be crazy for the D’Backs to make the deal (in my opinion).
      =================
      And while I’m not overly familiar with Byrnes’ style (just a few of the trades he made), this doesn’t seem to be the type of move he would make.

    35. Chewbacca
      December 29th, 2006 | 11:02 pm

      “Torre started Wright, essentially handing them home field advantage. The Indians lost, guaranteeing the Sox would be in the playoffs”

      HAHA Torre had to start Wright to hold Moose back and last time I checked, Wright is not exactly handing a game away. Also, the Indians-Rangers game had not ended by time the Yankees-Red Sox game started. You just cannot beat me Raf. All you do is allow me to GET A LAUGH ON RAF. HAHA

      You think you’re smart, like when you produced Andy Phillips minor league OPS in response to MY JOKE about Phillips not being able to mash anything unless it was potatoes. Andy has not ever, and will not ever produce in the majors BOTTOM LINE. Correction: Unless he goes to the Sox.

    36. December 29th, 2006 | 11:32 pm

      Please, everyone, stop with the personal attacks on each other. If someone posts something here in the comments section, and you think it’s stupid, either ignore it (like I try to most of the time) or be polite in offering some further information on what the person is saying.

      In any event, this vendetta crap has to stop. Going forward, anyone who wants to push the issue will lose their rights to comment on this blog.

      Let’s give peace on earth a try, OK?