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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Big Unit is headed back to Arizona

By David

The two year marriage between Randy Johnson and the New York Yankees officially ended on Thursday as New York traded the future Hall of Famer to the Diamondbacks. Johnson failed in his attempt to bring a 27th World Championship to the Bronx, and after a less than impressive 2006 campaign where he battled injury and saw his ERA balloon to five , it was time for the eight time All Star to change teams.

Johnson will have the opportunity to pitch closer to home and most importantly, he will be joining the team that he enjoyed the most success with during his illustrious Major League career. During his six years in the desert he compiled a 103 and 49 record to go along with a 2.80 ERA. He won the NL Cy Young award four years in a row[1999-2002] and he helped the D-backs win their first World Championship in 2001. He did so well against the Yankees that he was awarded Co-MVP of the World Series along with former teammate Curt Schilling.

For New York, they acquired Minor League shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, Minor League pitchers Steven Jackson and Ross Ohlendorf, and 8 year veteran reliever Luis Vizcaino. This deal makes perfect sense for the Bronx Bombers because the Big Unit is near the tail end of his career, his enormous salary will not be their full responsibility, and most importantly they continue to add young pitching prospects.

The trading away of veterans Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson have yielded the Yankees five pitching prospects. Through the recent deals Brian Cashman is displaying that the way to win is by having young talent on your team.

He realized that spending ridiculous amounts of money over the past six seasons has only generated New York AL East crowns and not that coveted World Series ring. With the return of the beloved Andy Pettitte and the recent moves to acquire quality pitching prospects, the Yankees are telling the baseball world that they are improving for the long run.

In years to come it will be a crazy site to see the Yankees as a team who still has the money to spend, and at the same time has impressive young players in the Minors who are ready to make a major impact on the Major League level. I don't know about you, but does this remind you of the time period in the early 90's when the Yankees were bringing up players such as Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and Mariano Rivera from the Minor Leagues? All they went onto to do was bring New York fans six World Series appearances and four World Series wins.


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