As they renew their quest for Randy Johnson, the Yankees have a lure that they refused to dangle last time: Javier Vazquez.
A source familiar with the Yankees’ thinking said the club would consider trading the 28-year-old Vazquez for the 41-year-old Johnson, even if the Yankees had to kick in some money for the financially troubled Diamondbacks to pay Vazquez.
While keeping their eyes on the prize, the intimidating Johnson, the Yankees are negotiating with free-agent lefthander Eric Milton. They’re likely to eventually sign him.
During trade discussions with the Yankees in July, Arizona asked for Vazquez. At the time, the Yankees refused, as Vazquez had put together a first half that landed him on the American League All-Star team. The Diamondbacks couldn’t find any Yankees prospects who interested them, so a trade wasn’t made.
Vazquez’s awful second half has the Yankees far more open-minded about dealing him. The righthander, who went 4-5 with a 6.92 ERA after the All-Star break, is owed $34.5 million over the next three years.
Johnson is not yet available, but he could be as soon as this week. The 6-10 lefthander is supposed to sit down with the Diamondbacks’ new management and reiterate his desire to be traded from the last-place club.
It’s believed the Chicago White Sox have offered first baseman Paul Konerko and righthander Jon Garland, and that the St. Louis Cardinals have proposed a package featuring lefthander Rick Ankiel and righthanders Kiko Calero and Danny Haren.