Mariners Analysis

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just say no to Randy

With word Randy wants out of NY, the Mariners have been floated as a possible landing zone. While it might be great for Yankee fans to picture Johnson in a Mariner uniform, I'm not sure why any one else would want to.

Randy Johnson is no longer a top-tier pitcher. (pretty much everyone agrees on this)

So why would the M's want to pay $16 million for a #4 starter coming off back-surgery?

The answer is, they wouldn't. Just like the Mariners weren't giving Zito $126 million, they aren't going to want to give Randy that much money to continue to pout/glare while putting up an ERA around 5. Too much risk, not enough reward.

Randy Johnson wins games when he has the NY Yankees offense behind him. Put the M's offense with Randy's 90 mph fastball and a slider that catches the fat part of the plate and he loses 17 games, not the other way around. Sure, his contract is short and $16 million seems fair for a HOF pitcher compared to Pettite/Clemens etc... but he simply isn't as effective at this stage of his life. Roger Clemens still brings it every day he pitches. Randy Johnson has not shown he is going to continue age well in his forties.

Just watch him pitch and no one will mistake him for a TOR starter. He's basically the equivalent of a Washburn, and why would you want to pay $16 mil for that? There's a reason the Yankees are willing to trade him- if Randy Johnson was really just unlucky last year with regard to stranding baserunners, the brain trust at Yankee Stadium would have noticed it every time he pitched. What they saw was an aging ballplayer who struggled when he really needed to make an out. He doesn't have that high, overpowering fastball that could get him a strikeout when he found himself in a jam. Instead they saw hung sliders that were raked.

Randy Johnson was always a two-pitch pitcher. When one isn't working, he has little to get him through a game. He doesn't have the full complement of pitches someone like Pedro Martinez has to use as he ages. There is no magic change up, no killer curve.

As icing on the cake of why you say no to Johnson, the Mariners would be expected to give up something of value for the honor of overpaying. No thanks to that! You don't further downgrade your bullpen or farm system to make the Yankees better.

I really don't see how anyone can justify trading for Randy Johnson. Too much risk, not enough reward.