Friday, December 26, 2008

Randy Johnson Signs With Giants

The Big Unit will give it another go in the NL West next season in his question for 300. The 45-year-old, five time Cy Young Award winner signed a one year, $8 million contract with the San Fransisco Giants Friday night. The contract joins Johnson with an already formidable Giants staff that features former Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito as well as the highly touted Matt Cain.

FANTASY IMPACT

Johnson has gone to a very good place and this really helps his fantasy value for next season. While the Giants' offense is nothing to write home about (in fact it's nothing to write anywhere about) the Big Unit should see similar success to what he saw in the second half of last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Don't be totally fooled by Johnson's overall numbers, his second half numbers showed flashes of the Unit of old we are used to seeing.

First half

Wins- 6
Losses- 7
ERA- 5.23
Strikeouts- 95
Innings Pitched- 98
Games- 17

Second Half

Wins-5
Losses- 3
ERA-2.41
Strikeouts- 78
Innings Pitched- 86
Games- 13

Clearly Johnson's numbers picked up in the second half as he got healthier and came to terms with what he now is as a pitcher. Less power, more finesse, pitching more to contact and allowing the defense to do their jobs really allowed Johnson to thrive. If you add that to the fact that he'll be going from a good hitter's park to a good pitcher's park, you could have yourself a five time Cy Young Award winner, with over 4,700K's who could be a draft day steal.

He isn't the dominant ace he once was in years past, but you can still expect near 15 wins, 175Ks and an ERA in the low 3.00s. Before last season's draft I would have told you to avoid Johnson because he was such a health risk. However, he really seems to have righted himself and has his back issues in check, so I don't think he'll be somebody you have to worry about breaking down too early in the season and losing him for an extended period of time. Think of taking him around the same time an A.J. Burnett or Scott Shields might get drafted.

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