Arizona - Acquired the Big Unit
Arizona Diamondbacks - Acquired P Randy Johnson from the New York Yankees for P Luis Vizcaino, SS Alberto Gonzalez, P Ross Ohlendorf, and P Steven Jackson.
Kind of a win-win for both teams, but I do think Arizona’s getting the better end of the deal. A lot of people (including just about every Yankee fan) disagrees with me, but I think that if he’s healthy, Johnson will be just fine. Nobody sustains as odd a windup/stretch split as the Unit had in 2006:
Bases Empty: 206/271/324
Backs are always iffy, but Johnson’s back has been a problem going back more than a decade - the guy can still pitch and there’s nothing wrong with simply being as good as he was in 2005. The “such-and-such season is almost never done at 43 or 44” is a bogus argument - Johnson’s an unusual, special, Hall-of-Fame pitcher, a better pitcher than Nolan Ryan. There’s no magic Gambler’s Fallacy God that strikes down 42 or 43-year-olds that are still good pitchers. Most guys going into their age-43 season don’t have peripherals as good as Johnson and most guys going into their age-43 season weren’t the best pitchers all-time at ages 38 and 40 and top 10 all-time when 41.
The Yankees, however, didn’t clearly want the drama and used to opportunity to pick up some organizational depth. I can’t blame them because when you’re spending a fifth of a billion in payroll, you don’t want to deal with any rotation surprises.
There are no top prospects here and all 3 of the prospects, while they would rank higher on the list of practically every other organization in baseball, were just barely in Sickels’ top 20 Arizona prospect list. The Diamondbacks can deal these players without even sweating the prospect depth. A team in their position should be willing to gamble as they don’t have many huge salary commitments and we’re talking about a deserving, slam-dunk Hall of Famer who shouldn’t be quite done yet. I’d rather have Unit than Gil Meche or Vicente Padilla and $5 million the next few years. By the time Arizona has to pay big money to their impressive stable of youngsters, Johnson will be retired and his contract mostly off the books, depending on what goofy deferred scheme Arizona does with Johnson (I think Matt Williams and Mark Grace are owed money through the year 2600 or something).
2007 ZiPS Projections
Player W L G GS IP H ER HR BB SO ERA
Jackson 7 10 26 26 168 206 107 26 59 72 5.73
Johnson 17 10 33 33 216 195 87 28 57 206 3.63
Ohlendorf 6 13 28 27 183 221 113 30 47 86 5.56
Vizcaino 4 6 68 0 66 66 35 9 28 56 4.77
2007 ZiPS Projections
Player AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
Gonzalez 463 60 115 20 2 4 45 35 45 2 .248 .308 .326
Posted: January 05, 2007 at 01:34 PM | 304 comment(s)
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