D-backs, Yanks agree to Unit deal

D-backs, Yanks agree to Unit deal

PHOENIX -- The D-backs and Yankees agreed on a deal Thursday that would send Randy Johnson back to Arizona in exchange for reliever Luis Vizcaino and Minor League prospects.

The D-backs asked for, and were granted, a 72-hour window to discuss Johnson's contract status with his agents Barry Meister and Alan Nero. The window is necessary because Johnson would need to approve the deal since he has a no-trade clause. Arizona would also like to work out a contract extension with Johnson which would keep him in a D-backs uniform through 2008.

"Earlier today we came to an agreement in principle with the New York Yankees regarding Randy Johnson," Arizona GM Josh Byrnes said in a statement. "We have now been granted a 72-hour window from Major League Baseball to discuss Randy's contract status with his representatives, Barry Meister and Alan Nero. We will respectfully decline any comment during the negotiating window but will do so when there is news to announce."

The D-backs are scheduled to speak with Meister and Nero on Friday to begin the negotiations.

Byrnes declined to say which prospects are involved in the deal. Several outlets reported that the Yankees will receive right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson along with shortstop Alberto Gonzalez.

A Yankees spokesperson said the team had no comment at this time.

Johnson has expressed a desire to pitch closer to his Phoenix-area home, and indications are that the two sides would be able to reach an agreement on an extension.

Once that happens, Johnson, who underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back following the 2006 season, would have to undergo a physical and the D-backs would review his medical file.

The Yankees will reportedly include $2 million in the deal to help Arizona defray the cost of Johnson's $16 million salary for 2007.

The Yankees are willing to trade Johnson because they have a surplus of starting pitchers and would like to continue to restock their farm system with pitching prospects.

Johnson was originally dealt to the Yankees from the D-backs after the 2004 season. In two years with the Yankees, he is 34-19 with a 4.37 ERA.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Reporter Bryan Hoch contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.