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Thursday, July 15, 2004
Randy Johnson Rumors

I don't know what to believe.  There are conflicting reports out of multiple outlets that have Randy Johnson; 1) approving a deal to a select few teams.  2) approving a deal to only the Yankees.  3) rejecting all trades offers, and staying put in Arizona.
 
The most widely reported rumor is that Randy has approved a trade to one of a list of 5 teams.  Those five teams include the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Cubs, and White Sox.  I'll break down what each team has to offer, and the likelihood that he ends up there. 

  • Yankees -- If there's any team that will pull out all the stops to get their guy, it will be George Stienbrener and the Yankees.  They don't have the Major League ready prospects that the D'backs are looking for, but they do have one good prospect at a position that they covet (Dioner Navarro @ catcher).  If the Yankees are to get RJ, they would likely swing a 3-way deal, where they ship out another one of their veteran pitchers(Lieber, Contreras, Hernandez) for some prospects, which they will turn around and ship to Arizona for RJ. -- Odds that he ends up in Pin-Stripes: 5-2
  • Red Sox -- They have some prospects, though not great ones.  If a deal did get done, it would no doubt include Kevin Youklis, the Greek god of walks.  Every rumor that surrounds the Red Sox always mentions Byun-Hyun Kim, but I doubt that the D'backs would want him back.  They already know the pain that is watching BHK pitch.  Odds that he end up in BeanTown: 12-1
  • Angels -- They have some great prospects to deal, but I've heard reports that they aren't willing to part with their top prospects(Dallas McPherson).  I've got a sneaking suspicion that this is not the only reason they aren't willing to part with their top guys.  Let's call it the Bartolo Colon effect.  They shelled out a large sum of money in the off-season to lure Colon to town.  Since then, all Colon has done is put up the highest ERA in the AL of all those eligible for the ERA title. Odds that he ends up in Anaheim: 24-1
  • Cubs -- They probably have the best prospects available, with both pitching talent, and position players, but they are a little farther away than the Angels prospects.  They could certainly have RJ if they wanted him, though with the exception of last season, when they raided the Pirates, I can not remember the last times the Cubs made significant moves at the All-Star Break.  The one thing working against the Cubs chances is that a top of the line pitcher is not their top need.  They need some relief help and maybe a lead-off/SS-type guy.  Odds that he ends up on the North Side: 48:1
  • White Sox -- A curious addition to the list of possible candidates.  It's not often that you see the White Sox associated with a player who has trade veto rights.  This, and the fact that Kenny Williams is highly motivated and unpredictable, make the White Sox the hardest to figure in the bunch.  They have already parted ways with their top prospect, and their catcher of the future in the trade to get Freddy Garcia.  The package they would send Arizona's way would likely include (Felix Diaz, Jon Rauch, Brian Anderson/Ryan Sweeney, and mid level pitcher).  That's a lot to give up, but as we've seen before KW is likely to pull the trigger if he thinks that it will get him to the "promised land" Odds that he ends up on the South Side: 6-1
If I was a betting man, I'd have to pick the Yankees as the place he'd likely end up.  I almost think that the stuff I've heard out of Anaheim is a smoke screen, as they also have Ramon Ortiz, who's unhappy in the bullpen, to deal.