AP NEWS
Related topics

Randy Johnson May Sign This Week

November 23, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Randy Johnson, the most sought-after free agent pitcher, hopes to agree to a new contract within a week.

Johnson traveled to the Anaheim Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers during the weekend and planned to visit the Texas Rangers on Monday.

``We’re starting to narrow down our focus, probably to three or four clubs,″ one of the pitcher’s agents, Barry Meister, said Sunday.

Johnson, who lives in Paradise Valley, Ariz., also has been courted by his hometown Arizona Diamondbacks. The Houston Astros, the team he finished the season with, also want to re-sign him. Johnson’s other agent, Alan Nero, says the San Diego Padres have made a bid.

``We may make another visit or two in the early part of the week,″ Meister said.

Johnson, a 35-year-old left-hander, was traded from Seattle to Houston on July 31 and became the National League’s most dominating pitcher during the final two months of the season.

He was 10-1 with a 1.26 ERA in 11 starts for the Astros, striking out 116 and walking 26 in 84 1-3 innings. Johnson had been unhappy with the Mariners from the start of spring training; he asked for a trade following the 1997 season after Seattle refused to give him a contract extension. He then went 9-10 with a 4.33 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 23 starts with the Mariners.

Rangers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Johnny Oates visited Johnson at his Arizona home on Nov. 3. Monday’s visit will be in Arlington.

No teams have been eliminated from contention yet, according to Meister. Johnson is seeking a three- or four-year contract with an average value of $13 million or more.

``That will start to happen now as we get a handle on it,″ he said.

AP RADIO
Update hourly