The Dodgers withdrew yesterday from the proposed three-team, 10-player trade that would have sent Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Yankees, who then...
NEW YORK — The Dodgers withdrew yesterday from the proposed three-team, 10-player trade that would have sent Randy Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Yankees, who then criticized Los Angeles for “reneging” on the deal.
“As we sit here right now, the deal is no more,” Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta said during a conference call. “I’ve been saying all along that we weren’t going to do the deal unless it made sense for this club in 2005, and that was not the case.”
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L.A. would have received right-hander Javier Vazquez from the Yankees along with two top prospects, catcher Dioner Navarro and third baseman Eric Duncan. The Dodgers also would have gotten pitcher Mike Koplove from Arizona.
Arizona would have obtained outfielder Shawn Green and pitchers Brad Penny, Yhency Brazoban and Brandon Weeden from the Dodgers. Along with Johnson, the Yankees would have gotten pitcher Kaz Ishii from Los Angeles.
“The Dodgers reneged on the deal that was agreed to last Friday, unequivocally and with no contingencies except for a window for contract extensions and physicals,” Yankees president Randy Levine said. “For some reason, the Dodgers over the weekend started to backpedal. Why they would break their word is only something they can answer. It sure is disappointing, and we’ll have to think long and hard before ever doing business with the Dodgers again.”
Earlier in the day, an official of one of the teams and a person close to one of the players involved in the trade said the deal had been submitted early yesterday to baseball commissioner Bud Selig for approval.
The official said the Dodgers gave the go-ahead to finalize the trade late Monday and early yesterday, when two conference calls were held. One call involved the G.M.s and baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson, and the other included ownership representatives and Selig.
“We went over various considerations and most of the details of the proposed transaction,” Alderson said. “I expected to have a follow-up this morning, and that never occurred.”
The Yankees even told Vazquez’s agent that the deal had been submitted for approval, causing the agent to tell the pitcher he had been traded.
But Pat Courtney, a spokesman in the commissioner’s office, said in the afternoon that more documentation had to be submitted before Selig could consider the transaction, and the Dodgers then held a conference call to announce their withdrawal.
“There were specific things in this deal that didn’t work out,” DePodesta said. “There were a lot of things to work out, a lot of things that were tentatively agreed on, but still details that we needed to work through.
“We were probably the most deliberate in approaching it, and at the end of the day, it just wasn’t going to come together and make sense for us,” DePodesta said.
Newsday reported on its Web site last night that Vazquez did not want to play for the Dodgers and refused to travel to Los Angeles for a physical. The paper, citing a source involved in the talks, cited that as the “primary reason” for the deal’s collapse.
“Javy is one of the players in this potential trade who had absolutely no choice in the process,” his agent, Sam Levinson, said. “Javy was available after the holidays for examination purposes.”
Johnson has asked the Diamondbacks to trade him, but it’s not clear whether the 41-year-old left-hander would accept a deal to any team other than the Yankees. Johnson, who is owed $16 million next season, has a no-trade clause and likely would want an extension as part of a trade.
DePodesta said it was possible the Dodgers might get involved again in a piece of the trade, but he likely wouldn’t be the one to initiate additional talks.
“Probably only if they call us,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll actively pursue, but if they come after us, I’m sure we’ll listen.”
Yankees officials met in Florida yesterday with free-agent center fielder Carlos Beltran and weren’t available following DePodesta’s announcement.
Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick wouldn’t comment on the Dodgers’ decision. He intends to resolve Johnson’s situation by the end of the month.
“We don’t think it’s a healthy thing for us or for him for the uncertainty of his situation to continue into next year,” Kendrick said.
DePodesta said the Dodgers hadn’t been looking to trade Green, and that he will speak with the outfielder.
“I’m looking forward to making a call to some of the guys and telling them to settle down and not be concerned with being traded.”