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Johnson headed to Arizona

Deal nets Yankees reliever Vizcaino

RANDY JOHNSON Wants extension RANDY JOHNSON Wants extension

Randy Johnson is headed back to the Arizona Diamondbacks after two unfulfilling years with the New York Yankees that began with a nasty sidewalk confrontation and ended with a messy playoff loss.

The Yankees reached a tentative agreement yesterday to trade Johnson to Arizona for reliever Luis Vizcaino and three minor leaguers, a move that allows the Big Unit's agents to get him a contract extension.

Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes confirmed what he called "an agreement in principle" but did not identify the players who would go to the Yankees.

New York would receive Vizcaino and minor league righthanders Ross Ohlendorf and Steven Jackson, and shortstop Alberto Gonzalez, a baseball official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Yankees also would pay $2 million of Johnson's $16 million salary this year.

Teams are granted a 72-hour window by the commissioner's office to close tentative deals, and the Yankees and Diamondbacks must finalize the trade by 5 p.m. EST Sunday.

Newsday reported Johnson had agreed in principle through "back-channel conversations" to a $10 million contract extension for 2008.

Johnson, who lives in the Phoenix area, went 103-49 with the Diamondbacks and helped them beat the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, going 3-0 against New York.

In another move, first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and the Yankees reached a preliminary agreement on a $1.5 million, one-year contract. Mientkiewicz, who spent 2005 with the cross-town Mets, must take a physical.

Foulke gets chance
Keith Foulke wants to be a closer again. The Indians will give him the chance. The reliever finalized a $5 million, one-year contract, a deal both sides hope turns into a longer partnership. Foulke's deal includes about $2 million in performance bonuses and a mutual option for 2008. Bothered by assorted injuries the past two seasons in Boston, Foulke lost his closer's job last year when the Red Sox decided to go with rookie Jonathan Papelbon. Foulke went 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA but no saves in 44 games and missed two months with elbow tendinitis .

Astros, Loretta agree
Infielder Mark Loretta and the Astros agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract, a deal that allows him to make an additional $1 million in performance bonuses. The 35-year-old has a .299 career average and was an All-Star in 2004 and 2006. He hit .285 with 33 doubles, 5 homers, and 59 RBIs last season with the Red Sox . . . The Angels designated righthander Chris Bootcheck for assignment to make room for infielder Shea Hillenbrand, who agreed to a $6.5 million, one-year contract Dec. 26 . . . Padres pitcher Jake Peavy was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at Mobile (Ala.) Regional Airport because he refused to move his double-parked car as he dropped off his bags en route to a goodwill tour of the Dominican Republic.

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