LAS VEGAS - Houston and the Los Angels Angels have joined the list of teams which have expressed interest in Randy Johnson after meeting with Johnson’s representatives here, sources said.
The Dodgers, San Francisco, Oakland, Texas, Milwaukee and the Cubs touched base with the Johnson camp before the meetings.
The Cubs seem the most likely suitor among that group, but they would only be interested in Johnson if any deal to acquire pitcher Jake Peavy deal falls through, and if they can move pitcher Jason Marquis, which seems less and less likely in the stalled market, since Marquis is to earn $9.875 million in 2009.
The Angels lost Jon Garland to free agency, and Houston’s rotation, despite the acquisition of Mike Hampton, could need a boost if they do not tender a contract to No. 5 starter Brandon Backe.
Johnson had a sensational final two months in Houston in 1998 before signing with the D-Backs in 1999, although one source said Johnson’s name had yet to come up in the Astros’ internal discussions.
It is conceivable the Diamondbacks could raise their offer to Johnson to between $3 million and $4 million, but that still is a long way from the $6.5 million Johnson’s camp has said it would take.