Green (Again) Headed to Arizona

Shawn Green's $16 million salary seems too heavy for the Dodgers to bear and they have again agreed in principal to trade him to Arizona -- with Randy Johnson's move to New York changing only the talent to be sent to Los Angeles.

Trade number one would send Green to the Diamondbacks for catching prospect Dioner Navarro, whom the Dodgers feel could move behind the plate in Dodger Stadium early this season. This is the scenario if the Diamondbacks' trade of five-time Cy Young Award winner Randy Johnson to the Yankees for Navarro, pitchers Javier Vazquez and Matt Halsey and about $9 million in cash .

The Diamondbacks apparently will keep Halsey. Los Angeles papers noted Navarro is the only player in whom the Dodgers are truly interested.

The proposed trade also includes $8 million going from the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks to cover half of Green's salary, but it still would free up at least $8 million.

If the Johnson trade falls through and the Diamondbacks don't get Navarro, the Dodgers apparently will trade Green to Arizona anyway.

In that case, it is not clear which players the Dodgers would get in exchange for Green, although their need pitching -- and money with which to do it -- is strong enough that they are willing to dump Green for a token return.

Derek Lowe, formerly of Boston, is the top free-agent pitcher available, a fact that has dramatically boosted Lowe's price, possible to the point the Dodgers are not interested in him.

However, if the Dodgers ship Green to Arizona it would free up more if the Diamondbacks don't have Navarro to deal, which probably would decrease the amount of money going with Green to Arizona because the Dodgers wouldn't be getting the player they want. Although in this case, the name Koyie Hill has been mentioned.

The Dodgers really want Navarro, the Yankees' top catching prospect. The Dodgers are expected to open the season with Brent Mayne and David Ross, who hit .176 for them last season, sharing time behind the plate. While Navarro isn't an outstanding hitter either, scouts project him to develop into a defensive star.

The deal could fall through for any number of reasons, much like the 10-player, three-team deal with the Diamondbacks and Yankees died two weeks ago when the Dodgers abruptly withdrew.

Selig must approve both trades. Major League Baseball discourages clubs from including more than $1 million cash in any one trade. Any trade in which that figure is exceeded is subject to the commissioner's approval.

Then the 72-hour window for the Yankees to negotiate with Johnson and the Diamondbacks with Green on new contracts is expected to open sometime Tuesday, meaning the trades probably won't be completed or announced before Thursday or Friday.

Finally, Johnson and Green must waive their no-trade clauses, something that isn't expected to be a major hurdle but probably will depend on contract extensions the players find agreeable.