Randy Johnson Rumors

Odds And Ends: Otsuka, Orioles, Johnson

I’ll keep this updated as more comes in, but for now these are your Saturday links…

  • Patrick Newman found that Akinori Otsuka will work out in front of reps from all MLB teams next month. Apparently Padres GM Kevin Towers is interested if Otsuka’s healthy.
  • Roch Kubatko knows there’s pitching talent coming from the minors, but he doesn’t love the current Orioles rotation and expects them to add two more starters.
  • The difference between 69 and 72 in 2009 wins isn’t worth much to the Orioles, Peter Schmuck writes.
  • The Red Sox move on after missing out on Mark Teixeira.
  • Eric Wedge doesn’t seem bothered by the Yankees’ big acquisitions.
  • Vernon Wells knows how hard it will be to compete now that former-teammate A.J. Burnett‘s in pinstripes along with a couple other big names.
  • Keith Law says the Randy Johnson signing moves the Giants "toward 2009 respectability, if not outright contention."
  • Vlae Kershner doesn’t like the possibility of Garret Anderson on the A’s.
  • Bleed Cubbie Blue argues that Adam Dunn‘s patience-power combination would work well for the Cubs. Last week Dunn said he thinks so too.
  • Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi revealed his favorite meal and dream date in a Q&A with the Sporting News.

Giants Sign Randy Johnson

The Giants have signed Randy Johnson to a one year deal, the team announced in a press release. Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal were both right on this one.

MLB.com’s Chris Haft heard from a baseball source that the deal guarantees the Big Unit $8MM in 2009 and includes performance bonuses that could reach $2.5MM and award bonuses that could reach another $2.5MM.  The AP agrees.

Johnson joins fellow-Cy Young Award winners Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito in a San Francisco rotation that also includes Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez.  It’s hard not to like the signing for the Giants; R.J. Anderson considers it a steal.


Dodgers Rumors: Wolf, Johnson, Strickland

Diamond Leung of the Riverside Press-Enterprise has some info on the Dodgers.

  • Randy Wolf would be open to playing for the Dodgers again, which doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  They have not made an offer though.  Wolf is said to be looking for three years and $30MM.
  • Randy Johnson has a few offers in hand, but not from the Dodgers…yet.
  • The Dodgers signed reliever Scott Strickland to a minor league deal.


Giants Trying To Sign Big Unit

According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle a member of the Giants organization confirmed that they are working hard to sign Randy Johnson to a one-year contract.

Schulman hears that “Johnson is biding his time” and waiting for the market to develop, but it became apparent last week that Johnson and the Giants have mutual interest.


D-Backs Looking For A Fourth Starter?

In this chat with fans, Diamondbacks CEO Jeff Moorad mentions that Max Scherzer will be the No. 5 starter for Arizona in 2009, and that the No. 4 starter will be "a player to be named." Could indicate they’re looking to acquire someone.

For D-Backs fans still hoping that someone will be Randy Johnson…don’t count on it:

We told Randy’s agents that we wanted to meet with him in-person. They told us that they would get back to us after he filed for free agency. We haven’t heard another word on the subject. We offered to pay Randy what we felt was fair and respect the fact that he chose to explore the market – he will always have a place here in Arizona.

Sarah Green writes for the Boston Metro and UmpBump.


Oswalt Willing To Restructure Contract

FRIDAY: You may have missed this story amid the Winter Meetings chaos.  Read the article below, and then check out Richard Justice’s take.

WEDNESDAY: According to Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Astros ace Roy Oswalt is willing to restructure his contract and backload money to free up team resources to acquire another starter.  Oswalt has a guaranteed $47MM left on his contract over the next three years.

The cash-strapped Astros considered Ty Wigginton a non-tender candidate at one point, but trade interest is strong (the deadline is Friday).  Wigginton may be too pricey for the D’Backs though.  At the least, they’d have to get creative.  And while the Astros made an inquiry on Randy Johnson, Ed Wade implied the pitcher is out of his price range.  The recent Michael Barrett rumor was downplayed as well.


Brewers Interested In Unit, Moyer, Smoltz, Wolf

Tom Haudricourt has the latest from Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin as the Brewers try to strengthen their rotation. Melvin just confirmed interest in Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, Randy Wolf and John Smoltz.

Melvin acknowledged that “nobody’s going to replace C.C.,” but the Brewers have “ongoing discussions” with all four of the pitchers he mentioned.

Haudricourt writes that of the four, only Wolf seems likely to get offers longer than one year.


Giants, Johnson Have Mutual Interest

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle Randy Johnson‘s agents say “San Francisco has a lot of appeal” for their client.

Barry Meister, who represents the Big Unit, said “Randy’s really interested” in playing for San Francisco because the Giants are in the National League, they train in Arizona and they have the chance to be competitive.

Giants GM Brian Sabean didn’t rule out Johnson either, saying the Giants “obviously would have a chance to win” with him on the mound.


Brewers Looking For Pitching

9:00pm: Tom Haudricourt has an update.  Nothing came of Doug Melvin’s talks with the Rangers, and he denied talking to the Giants or Mariners.

The Brewers haven’t made an offer yet to Randy Johnson, who seems to prefer the West Coast.  Melvin says he won’t pursue Hoffman.  And, some of the $100MM offered to Sabathia is available for pitching.

5:06pm: MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan says Melvin spoke to the Rangers about pitching.  Melvin is said to hold Kevin Millwood in high regard.

3:27pm: Danny Knobler heard from two sources that Brewers GM Doug Melvin can’t shift any of the $100MM offered to C.C. Sabathia to players, and the Brewers are "very unlikely" to pursue a closer (this despite meetings with closers that are known to have taken place).

1:51pm: This information has all pretty much surfaced prior to today, but let’s put it all in one place.  The Brewers are considering Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman as closer options, with Randy Johnson a rotation option.


Randy Johnson Rumors

WEDNESDAY, 1:11pm: Nolan Ryan confirmed the Rangers’ interest in Johnson.

TUESDAY, 8:37pm: Jack Magruder says the Astros and Angels met with Johnson’s reps at the Meetings.  He adds that the Rangers, Brewers, and Cubs touched base before the Meetings.

2:54pm: Four California teams are said to be eyeing Randy Johnson: the Dodgers, Angels, Giants, and A’s.  Mike DiGiovanna learned that the Dodgers and Angels are more on the fringes.  We’ve also seen Johnson linked to the Cubs as a fallback for Jake Peavy.