This is from Gammons so take it or leave it, just passing it along.
Big Unit to L.A. makes sense By Peter Gammons Special to ESPN.com
Jerry Colangelo and Joe Garagiola have reiterated that they are not running a fire sale and that Randy Johnson is not being dumped to someone whose only offer is to pick up the $24 million remaining on his contract ($7 million of which is deferred).
Would Johnson consent to a Dodgers deal?
Tuesday afternoon, one party close to the situation said that he still believes the future Hall of Famer will remain in Arizona, as bad as it's been. The report that Colangelo and Garagiola received is that third baseman Eric Duncan is the Yankee farmhand closest to the majors that intrigues them. But Duncan plays in the Midwest League and does not fit the 2005 priorities of the Diamondbacks. So, unless George Steinbrenner buys players and trades them for Johnson, and unless Johnson unexpectedly changes his mind and agrees to go to the Angels, the only team that may fit the priorities of Johnson and the D-Backs is the Dodgers.
Whether the Dodgers would give up Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota and a prospect like pitcher Chad Billingsley is another matter.
Arizona wants to make a deal for a catcher and potential closer on the major league level and one or two prospects. The D-Backs also don't want to deal Steve Finley to the Padres because they don't want him to sign there for 2005. They want him to re-sign with the Diamondbacks. So the deal they'd like to make is with Florida. They would send Finley, catcher Brent Mayne and reliever Stephen Randolph for first baseman Jason Stokes, outfielder Abraham Nunez and a pitching prospect, Billy Murphy or Kevin Olsen.
The Fish paused on Stokes and Olsen, and had yet to decide if they would ask Finley to move to left field. Finley has tried to force a deal to San Diego by telling Kevin Towers he won't go the East Coast. So that remains a standoff, and the Marlins continue to talk about four bats, the most notable one being Larry Walker.
The Marlins have struggled but have not considered selling because they still believe that if they get Josh Beckett back Friday, their rotation with Brad Penny, A.J. Burnett, Carl Pavano and Dontrelle Willis can make a strong run down the stretch. After all, they were 18-8 in September last season.
As the Marlins believe they can get back this season, so the Diamondbacks believe they can get back into contention next season.
That's what they believe, with Randy, or with the major league-ready talent they get for him.
Even if Finley were to go to San Diego, he could return to Arizona, which hopes to re-sign Richie Sexson. The D-Backs also hope that they can get Mota to close behind Jose Valverde, Brian Bruney, Oscar Villarreal and Jason Bulger (who has hit 100 mph on the gun in Double-A).
When healthy, the Diamondbacks have talent at and close to the major league level, with outfielder Conor Jackson likely to be able to jump from Double-A to the majors next season. Outfielder Carlos Quentin, infielder Sergio Santos and No. 1 pick Stephen Drew are close behind. The team will sign Drew, who it believes is ahead of J.D. at this stage and a potential impact player in the middle infield.
So Randy and everyone waits out the week. Even though Kris Benson to Minnesota for Doug Mientkiewicz and Mike Restovich appears close, Pirates GM Dave Littlefield may hold on and see if he can squeeze one or two more players out of the deep Minnesota organization. As Littlefield always states, they can always say no.
What we learned in Boston Ten truths from the Yankee-Red Sox series:
# The Yankees need Randy Johnson more than he needs them. Paul Quantrill's knee, which he injured in Japan, is so bad that he was down to 83 mph over the weekend. Then, after refusing to admit to pain, he got hurt again Monday. Tom Gordon's cutter is off right now. Even Mariano Rivera has temporarily lost command of his cutter, especially to right-handed hitters. All of this is fatigue related.
The starting rotation may not be as bad as it currently looks -- if Kevin Brown and/or Mike Mussina come back and Orlando Hernandez pitches as well as he has; El Duque says he feels better than he has in four years.
Boston has the ongoing Derek Lowe media drama. But if Pedro Martinez's hip is all right, with Curt Schilling and Tim Wakefield, the Red Sox are theoretically better geared to the postseason -- provided they get there. That is not set in stone.
# The Rockies are holding Larry Walker, waiting to see if Jason Giambi's illness sidelines him much of the season and if the Red Sox cannot make a deal for a right fielder (Danny Bautista, Jay Payton are two possible replacements) now that it is likely Trot Nixon won't play in right the rest of the season. Boston talked about Walker as a first baseman, with the Rockies taking Byung-Hyun Kim's $6 million next year plus some other cash, but decided against him. But if Boston were to put in a claim to block him from the Yankees ... poof, they'd get Walker and owe him $15 million-something through next season.
Jason Varitek and A-Rod get things started in Saturday's altercation.
# The "fight" was no fight. Scrum, maybe. Meleé, maybe. But not a fight. First of all, Bronson Arroyo did not intentionally drill Alex Rodriguez with that pitch, although it was going to happen sooner or later after Nomar Garciaparra got smoked the night before by Gordon and A-Rod hooked Bill Mueller as the third baseman turned a double play at second base. But the Yankees still seethe because of Pedro Martinez's drilling of Gary Sheffield on July 1 -- not to mention the Karim Garcia hit -- which was followed in the 11th inning of that famous game earlier this summer with a Curt Leskanic pitch that hit Sheffield rather than simply putting him on base. But, please, comparing this to the 1973 or 1976 fights? Hahahahahaha. Tanyon Sturtze did put a headlock on an unsuspecting Gabe Kapler, but contrary to hysterical reporting, David Ortiz was trying to pull Sturtze off Kapler. No big deal. But Major League Baseball tends to overreact a lot these days.
# Sunday night was the best bite and command Lowe has had of his sinker all season.
# The Red Sox were reminded that Sheffield, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are three of the toughest guys in the game.
# Kevin Millar's streak began when he conceded he needed to make changes the previous Monday in Seattle. "I had to spread out," says Millar, "and stop popping everything out. I was watching that Miguel Olivo hit and said, 'that's what I need to do.' And it worked. Some guys copy Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols; I copied Miguel Olivo."
# The Yankee defense isn't very good, although Tony Clark makes it better than it was. Boston? Every infielder has regressed from last year -- Garciaparra is not fully recovered and Mueller is coming off knee surgery -- and the outfield has some senior moments. At this point, the Red Sox could have Johnson with Schilling, Martinez and Wakefield and lose because their defense costs them 3-2, 4-3 games.
# Kenny Lofton has turned out to be important.
# People don't understand that Terry Francona is managing a team where the three star players are, well, different. The Boston Herald's esteemed columnist Howard Bryant reported that Manny Ramirez was upset at being called out by his manager, and thus sat out games. Pedro goes on his own schedule. Garciaparra, who never has wanted to be a vocal leader, is embittered by his war with ownership, right down to being upset with his use in a movie made about Red Sox fans, which led to his being taken out of all promotions for the film.
# Whichever aide suggested that John Kerry throw out the first pitch, get booed and look out of place Sunday night should be forced to drive Michael Dukakis' tank for a week. So Kerry isn't as at ease in that situation as George W. Bush. So what, don't point it out. How a candidate looks on the mound shouldn't be a part of any election. This is the greatest week of Kerry's life of public service -- thus far -- and his candidacy is about ideas, management and human rights, not symbols, a symbol that wasn't necessary. George Stephanopoulos hit it right on ESPN -- never, never do that.
But don't think all politicians are phony fans; they are not. The Democratic senators who annually gather in Florida make spring training games their highlight. And some of us have a stash of Tip O'Neill letters promoting Dominic DiMaggio and Joe Wood for the Hall of Fame.
News and notes # The Mariners have staunchly refused to even discuss deals for Jamie Moyer, Eddie Guardado or Randy Winn.
# The Astros know there's a chance Andy Pettitte will be out at least a year because of elbow surgery. His fastball declined from 89 to 74 mph in Monday's loss to Arizona. Thus far, owner Drayton McLane has not wanted to move Carlos Beltran or Jeff Kent before August because he wants the Astros to draw three million fans. But Phil Garner may do what Jimy Williams' heart couldn't -- sit down Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and/or Brad Ausmus.
# The Expos are asking for two prospects the equivalent of the first round/sandwich picks they'd get if Orlando Cabrera went to free agency. The Cubs will likely get him before the deadline. Montreal has refused to trade Luis Ayala or Brad Wilkerson, but with Rocky Biddle pitching better as a starter, he could be moved.
# The Devil Rays are looking for a bat, and have talked to the D-Backs about both Shea Hillenbrand and Danny Bautista.
# While Boston is also in on Bautista, a deal with the Giants for David Aardsma is a distinct possibility.
# The Phillies struck out on Terry Adams but have discussed a Placido Polanco-Ricardo Rincon deal with Oakland. Polanco would be a huge addition to the A's.
# The Mets are now essentially out of the buyers' market and are focused on next season.
pbeall100281 wrote: I believe Unit will be traded but not until after the deadline.
During the waivers period? No chance in hell. Someone else would pick him up no matter what.
I don't know blankman....didn't Manny pass waivers last year....
Yeah but the Yankees weren't gonna do the Sox a favor by taking him off of their hands. This time, both teams would claim him if for no other reason than to stop the other from getting him.
I think you would see a team like the Mets, for instance, an NL team with a lesser record and money to spend snatch R.J. up before he got to Sox or Yankees. And if Arizona pulled them back then that would be it because the next time it would irrevocable.
There is a big difference between R.J. and Manny clearing waivers. R.J. is a two year risk weighing in at $10M per. Manny is getting paid about $20M a year and is signed through 2008.
Maine has a good swing for a pitcher but on anything that moves, he has no chance. And if it's a fastball, it has to be up in the zone. Basically, the pitcher has to hit his bat. - Mike Pelfrey
heres the latetest looks like its down which deal the D-backs want either want cash relief from yanks or prospects from the halos. I wonder which one they would go for
The Denver Post cites a Bergen (N.J.) Record report that Randy Johnson has asked the Diamondbacks to trade him to the Yankees in time for his Friday start.
The Yankees may be employing a third team - possibly the Padres - to close the deal. San Diego would get Steve Finley as part of the 3-way trade, with prospects from both the Yankees and Padres going to Arizona. The Yankees have moved Jose Contreras up a day in rotation in anticipation of Johnson filling Friday's spot. However, there's a lot more to the story: The Yankees are willing to take on the salaries of Roberto Alomar and Matt Mantei, which would free up another $8 million for Arizona. However, the D'Backs are believed to still prefer the Angels' offer, and might force Johnson to take that or nothing. Johnson, meanwhile, is said to be threatening to be a disruptive presence in the clubhouse if forced to stay in Arizona. This could still get ugly before it's resolved.