George Steinbrenner's interest in Randy Johnson could end up costing him. The commissioner's office said Thursday it was reviewing remarks the New
York Yankees owner made about the Arizona ace this week to see if there was any tampering that could result in a fine.
"We are looking into it," spokesman Matt Gould said. "It involves talking about someone under contract to another team."
Steinbrenner has long admired Johnson, going back to when the Big Unit helped Seattle beat the Yankees in the 1995 AL playoffs. Johnson then won three
games against the Yankees in the 2001 World Series, pitching the Diamondbacks to the championship.
With the July 31 trade deadline approaching and the Yankees possibly looking to add another starting pitcher, Steinbrenner reiterated Wednesday that
he liked the Big Unit.
"God, who wouldn't love to have Randy Johnson?" Steinbrenner told Sporting News Radio. "He's a dominator and we'd love to have him. Anybody would love
to him, but I also know that (Diamondbacks owner) Jerry Colangelo is not going to give him away. We'll have to see what happens as the deadline gets
closer. We'll see."
"We will try and make a move somewhere along the line here. We are working on it feverishly," he said. "We are not going to mention any names, but
we're looking. You can never have enough pitching."
Johnson has veto power over any deal and the Diamondbacks have repeatedly said they would not trade the five-time Cy Young Award winner.
Last month when New York played at Arizona, the 40-year-old lefty said he had not pondered whether he'd accept a trade to the Yankees.
"Right now, I've not been approached by either team," Johnson said at the time. "It's kind of pointless."
Johnson is in the first year of a $33 million, two-year contract extension. After having surgery on his right knee last year, he has been impressive
Johnson pitched a perfect game against Atlanta on May 18 and passed 4,000 career strikeouts this week while facing San Diego. He is 9-6 with a 3.04
ERA in 17 starts, fanning 129 in 115 1-3 innings.