Mariners will listen to offers for Johnson No contract extension prompts talk of trade

November 14, 1997|By NEWSDAY

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The battle for Pedro Martinez suddenly may take a back seat. The Seattle Mariners shocked the general managers' meetings yesterday by saying they have been unable to reach a multi-year deal with All-Star left-hander Randy Johnson and will start entertaining trade offers for him.

Johnson reportedly seeks "Greg Maddux money" -- $11.5 million a season. Seattle is to pay him $6 million next season.

"We are weighing our options," general manager Woody Woodward said. "Do we go ahead and compete for postseason play? Or do we trade him? I'll entertain offers on that."

Johnson's agent, Barry Meister, said: "If they have no intention of signing him beyond next year, it's probably best to move him for value so he can get on with his march to the Hall of Fame with a club that wants him."

Johnson, the 1995 AL Cy Young Award winner, is 75-20 since 1993, going 20-4 with a 2.28 ERA last season and 291 strikeouts.

Pub Date: 11/14/97

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