Sunday, January 07, 2007

Diamondbacks Give Johnson 2 Years, $26 Million

From "Big Unit deal done pending physical: Trade will send Vizcaino, three prospects to Yankees" at

[Randy] Johnson's new deal calls for a $12 million signing bonus, of which $3.5 million is payable this year, $500,000 in 2008 and $4 million each in 2009 and 2010, a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations told The AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because the terms weren't disclosed in Sunday's announcement. Johnson gets salaries of $4 million this year and $10 million in 2008.

As part of the trade, the Yankees would pay $2 million of Johnson's salary this year. That means Arizona would be responsible for $24 million: $5.5 million this year, $10.5 million in 2008 and $4 million each in 2009 and 2010.

In addition, the D-backs owe the five-time Cy Young Award winner just over $44 million, including accrued interest, from 2007-12. That money was earned by Johnson when he pitched for Arizona from 1999-2004, winning four Cy Youngs.

Wow. If I understand this correctly, the Diamondbacks will be paying Johnson $70 million (minus $2 million from the Yankees) through 2012, but he only has to pitch for them through 2008, when he'll be 44.

Add in Johnson's recent back surgery and this deal seems crazy for a team purportedly going with a youth movement. Johnson went 17-11 for the Yankees last year but received 7.51 runs of run support per start. The Diamondbacks averaged 4.77 runs per game last year.

But at least the old-guy pentafecta is almost complete.