There's been some interesting speculation published recently concerning a possible return of Randy Johnson to Seattle (perhaps this will be the new version of the 'annual Junior returns to Seattle story' now that Bob Finnigan is no longer writing for The Times). In any event, there seem to be two distinct schools of thought on the issue. On the "no way" side, Larry Stone of The Times says the following:
"If the Mariners wind up getting shoved out of the Zito market, it might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, saving them from making a near $100 million commitment to a pitcher who some analysts predict is at the precipice of a decline.
Of course, the Mariners thought the same thing about another left-hander nearly a decade ago."
On the "damn skippy" side, Dave from USS Mariner says "Yes, Please" - and goes on to say:
"Johnson isn’t an an all-star anymore, but he’s still a very effective starting pitcher, better than any of these clowns who are getting long term, big money deals as free agents this winter."
I'm not convinced that RJ would ever consider coming back to Seattle. I remember well the acrimony that surrounded his departure for the Astros. Besides, I don't think the Yankees will let him go without some very major compensation is the way of prospects - and that's something the Mariners can ill afford to give.
I'm still hoping that Bill Bavasi has some bigger plan in mind.
Edit: This bit of late breaking news from ESPN - Zito signs with San Francisco for an unbelievable 7 year $18M per deal. Yikes. No thanks. More power to the Giants.