Does Anybody Know What Time It Is?

The timeline of the Randy Johnson saga would mercifully come to an end today. There was a 3:00 PM deadline for the Diamondbacks to work out a deal with Johnson’s agents to allow him to waive his no trade clause to become a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Everyone fully expected the deal to be completed within the time allotted. After all, Johnson had been negotiating through back channels letting everyone who was anyone know that he desired to play closer to home and what it would take for him to sign on the dotted line. Once financial parameters could be worked out it would come down to Johnson passing a physical. Some wondered whether his health and recovery from back surgery would be a detriment to passing the physical. What people did not understand was that Johnson has been working with Dr. Michael Lee on his recovery from surgery. Lee is the team physician for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I am sure that the Diamondbacks have been closely monitoring the progress Randy is making and relied heavily on the medical opinions of Dr. Lee during these negotiations. There is little doubt that Johnson will pass the physical with flying colors. Randy is still insisting he will be ready for opening day 2007 and no one at this moment is contradicting that statement.

Financial terms are starting to be revealed as the deadline passed. Johnson renegotiated his 2007 salary and added an additional year making the contract life go through 2008. For this season his salary will be $4 million with the New York Yankees picking up $2 million of that meaning the Diamondbacks are only hit for $2 million. Johnson’s contract calls for him to make a salary of $10 million in 2008. He will also be paid a signing bonus of $12 million with some paid in 2007 but the majority of that being paid in 2009-2010. Given these parameters, the Diamondbacks have maintained their payroll goal and provided them with enough relieve to sign their arbitration eligible players without having to go beyond their budgeted amount. If you look at the contract numbers, this deal does make good sense to the Diamondbacks. Where else could you find a third or fourth starter who threw 200 innings and 17 wins for $2 million? Compare this to Miguel Batista’s contract with Seattle. He will be paid roughly $8 million this season. You have to ask yourself would you rather have Randy Johnson for $4 million or Miguel Batista for $8 million? With Randy Johnson back with the Diamondbacks for 2 years, it is assured that he will probably win his 300th game as an Arizona Diamondback. That feat is becoming more rare so this may be the only time we will ever see a 300 game winner wearing a Diamondbacks uniform. That alone makes it almost worth it. It is interesting. Last season Randy Johnson was named Hometown Hero for the Arizona Diamondbacks through voting by the fans. I wondered whether we would ever see him in Chase Field again to get the accolades that he deserves for that feat. Now just a few short months later he is once again part of the Diamondbacks family. I hope the team takes an opportunity to recognize his accomplishments and being named their Hometown Hero. He deserves our applause and respect for what he has accomplished. Now if we can just get Gil Tyree to go to Randy’s house for an interview to ask him how he feels, it would be the end to a perfect day.

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