Big Unit headed home

Johnson

SAN FRANCISCO - The Big Unit is heading home to the Bay Area.

Randy Johnson and the San Francisco Giants agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract Friday, meaning the 45-year-old pitcher will go for his 300th win with a new team.

Johnson, a 21-year big league veteran who spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, was born in Walnut Creek, Calif., about 30 minutes from the Giants' waterfront ballpark. He grew up in nearby Livermore.

The five-time Cy Young Award winner has 295 victories after going 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 30 starts last season. He can earn an additional $5 million in performance bonuses.

The Giants offered several things on Johnson's wish list: spring training in the Phoenix area, and a chance to stay on the West Coast and in the NL West so he can pitch near his current home in Arizona.

"All of those things kind of fell into place with the Giants," Johnson's agent, Barry Meister, said in a telephone interview.

Johnson joins fellow Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum (2008) and Barry Zito (2002) in an intriguing rotation that also features promising right-hander Matt Cain. San Francisco becomes the first team with three Cy Young Award recipients since the 2002 Atlanta Braves with Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz.

"He's looking forward to pitching between Lincecum and Cain and serving as a mentor for the young pitching staff," Meister said.

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