|RANDY JOHNSON Wants extension|
Johnson headed to Arizona
Deal nets Yankees reliever Vizcaino
Randy Johnson is headed back to the Arizona Diamondbacks after two unfulfilling years with the New York Yankees that began with a nasty sidewalk confrontation and ended with a messy playoff loss.
The Yankees reached a tentative agreement yesterday to trade Johnson to Arizona for reliever Luis Vizcaino and three minor leaguers, a move that allows the Big Unit's agents to get him a contract extension.
Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes confirmed what he called "an agreement in principle" but did not identify the players who would go to the Yankees.
New York would receive Vizcaino and minor league righthanders Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson, and shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, a baseball official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Yankees also would pay $2 million of Johnson's $16 million salary this year.
Teams are granted a 72-hour window by the commissioner's office to close tentative deals, and the Yankees and Diamondbacks must finalize the trade by 5 p.m. EST Sunday.
Newsday reported Johnson had agreed in principle through "back-channel conversations" to a $10 million contract extension for 2008.
Johnson, who lives in the Phoenix area, went 103-49 with the Diamondbacks and helped them beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, going 3-0 against New York.
In another move, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement on a $1.5 million, one-year contract. Mientkiewicz, who spent 2005 with the cross-town Mets, must take a physical.