Randy Johnson Rumors

Diamondbacks Continue to Strike Out

As Nick Piecoro reports, Randy Wolf is the latest free agent starting pitcher to decline an offer from the D’backs this off-season. Brad Penny, Randy Johnson, and Jon Garland are some of the others who have already indicated their desire to pursue other options.

Not much is known about the offer made to Penny, but Johnson was apparently offered a one-year deal in the $2-3MM range, and Garland is rumored to have been offered both a one-year deal that included two option years and a guaranteed two-year deal worth at least $13 million.

Piecoro notes that the rapidity with which Arizona appears to be cycling through its options could turn out to be an effective strategy for getting the right player at the right price. Pedro Martinez, perhaps? Of course, this is all assuming that they can get someone to actually say yes.

Giants Will Listen To Proposals Involving Sanchez

Now that the San Francisco Giants have lefty veteran Randy Johnson locked up, they are willing to listen to offers involving Jonathan Sanchez. Chris Haft of MLB.com asked Giants general manager Brian Sabean about the possibility after signing Johnson.

From Haft:

“We’re going to have to be open-minded,” Sabean said, although he repeated that he wouldn’t obtain a player who’s eligible for free agency after 2009.

The Giants have been listed as one of the teams who might be a good trade partner with the New York Yankees for a corner outfielder, in particular Xavier Nady, but he doesn’t meet Sabean’s requirement regarding free agency. Nady’s contract ends after the ’09 season.

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.