I can't say I am surprised by this. He's been average at best and just the pits in the post season. His salary and no trade clause will make it difficult, so maybe it's just something to try and motivate him? The next few months will prove interesting if nothing else.
Rusty Shackleford is just the name he uses to order Pizza with.
Don't let Johnson's 5.00 ERA fool you; he posted a solid 1.24 WHIP last year with a nice 7.55 K/9. He only averaged 1 HR per 9 innings, as well. He's not quite the phenomenal pitcher he once was, but he's still well above average in the AL East, which would make him a great prize for one of the losers of the Zito sweepstakes.
As far as the bag of balls comment goes, that doesn't appear to be the case. The Diamondbacks (the apparent front-runners) are talking about trading one of Dustin Nippert, Micah Owings and Ross Ohlendorf, three guys I've never heard of who are apparently part of Arizona's very well-stacked farm system. Who knew?
In other Yankee news, former Red Sox Doug Mientkiewicz and Mark Loretta are both apparently pretty close to donning pinstripes. *sigh*
Originally posted by MisterHendersonHis salary and no trade clause will make it difficult, so maybe it's just something to try and motivate him?
I've read that the idea of a trade eminated from him, after he spoke with Cashman shortly following the funeral of Randy's brother. With that, it appears that he'd like to be closer to his family, so the no-trade shouldn't be as big of a hurdle. It would leave the Yanks in fine shape, with Wang, Pettitte, Moose, Igawa, and either one of the young 'uns, or the Rajah of Rehab, Carol Pavano.
Owings and Nippert are the D-Backs top 2 pitching prospects. While they do have a stacked farm system, that is almost all position players, not pitchers. I wouldn't mind seeing Johnson back, and think he would do ok, but if we are giving up those kind of prospects, the Yankees better be paying most of the $16 million.
On a side note, the D-Backs still owe him $40 million in deferred salary, and the rumor is that is part of the negotiations.
Arizona would send pitcher Luis Vizcaino to the Yankees along with minor league pitcher Ross Ohlendorf and shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, another baseball official said, also on condition of anonymity. The Yankees also might receive another minor league pitcher, the official said, and would pay between $1.5 million and $2 million of Johnson's $16 million salary this year.
So much for that investment. Like Sheffield, Johnson has brought New York approximately 0 World Series titles. And since he isn't getting any younger, this trade is for the best. Let Johnson retire out in Arizona.
I'm grudingly a believer in Mazzone's ability as a pitching coach, so I don't think Byrd'll tank in Atlanta. That being said, I also don't see him winning more than 20 games there. 15, tops, and he'll be close to a .500 winning percentage.