Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 18, 2004
BASEBALL: Unit Adhesion

Well, you knew Steinbrenner had to do something to top Pedro coming to Shea, and there was only one pitcher out there (well, other than bringing back Clemens) who fit the bill. Just wait for the first time Pedro and Randy Johnson square off in the regular season . . . although Joe Torre traditionally tries to duck the head-to-head matchups of aces.

Short term - over the next two seasons, maybe three - this deal is a bonanza for the Yankees, who give up the struggling Javier Vazquez and bring in the dominating Johnson plus, apparently, as of the latest report, Kaz Ishii, who can also be potentially useful. I'll have to digest the broader pitcure for the Yankee pitching staff later, but the minimal changes to the everyday lineup, combined with the addition of Johnson, Ishii, Pavano, Wright, Stanton and Rodriguez leaves no doubt where the Yanks felt they needed to improve.

If Vazquez isn't nursing an undisclosed injury - a very real possibility- I envy the Dodgers getting him out of the Bronx, where Torre had lost confidence in him, and into Dodger Stadium, although the Daily News suggested this morning that he could be headed to the White Sox . . . of course, the deal is still cotngent on Brad Penny passing a physical with Arizona, among other things (think the D-Backs ever thought when they traded Penny for Matt Mantei that they'd need to part with the Big Unit to get him back?)

The rationale for dumping Johnson and bringing in Penny makes sense for Arizona, and Shawn Green is still young enough, but Green's injuries and high salary obviously make him a less than ideal return on Johnson.

More to follow on all this, as well as Tim Hudson to the Braves, Beltre to the Mariners, and Renteria and Clement to the Red Sox . . . the moves are just coming too fast to make sense of them all.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 2:29 PM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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