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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-16

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-16

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-11-16
Left-hander Randy Johnson filed for free agency on Nov. 13 after last-ditch talks during the Diamondbacks' sole negotiating window ended without resolution, creating the possibility that Johnson's time with the team is over.

The D-backs offered Johnson a one-year deal worth just less than $3 million, while Johnson apparently offered to play for about $8 million, based on a statement by his agents that Johnson would take a "50 percent pay cut (from his 2008 salary) to remain a Diamondback."

Arizona is expected to have a 2009 budget of about $70 million, and it still must fill a hole at second base while also allocating a larger than normal amount to its 2009 draft class because it could have eight selections in the first 75 picks.

"In every negotiation, you try to have an understanding of market value and an understanding of the team context," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "Sometimes that helps get a deal done. Sometimes it doesn't."

Asked if the D-Backs' offer is firm, Byrnes said, "Yeah. Something would have to fundamentally change for us to close the gap."

Johnson, 45, was 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 2008, and if it was his last season in Arizona, he ended in flashback fashion, pitching a two-hit complete game in a 2-1 victory over Colorado on the final day of the regular season. That conjured visions of his brilliant run of four Cy Young Awards from 1999-2002 and a 2001 World Series title.

"The Diamondbacks have a budget based on their club's financial situation and obviously viewed Randy's contract in that context," said the statement, from agents Alan Nero and Barry Meister of Octagon Sports.

"Randy considered every reasonable compromise including offering to take a 50 percent pay cut, all to remain a Diamondback. However, the economic situation did not lend itself to an agreement.

"Consequently, Randy is forced to file for free agency and consider all opportunities to further his career. He hopes to find a team where he can continue to pitch at a high level and contribute to another world championship."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 16, 2008

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