The New York Yankees had a few needs they knew about heading into the 2012 Winter Meetings and had one more added, as Alex Rodriguez needs surgery and will be out until at least June.
Trying to fill the void of Rodriguez’s sudden surgery, the Yankees have offered Kevin Youkilis a one-year deal worth $12 million, according to multiple sources.
Youkilis in 2012 played for a few Sox’s; the Boston Red Sox to start the season, before being traded to the Chicago White Sox, as Boston was falling apart and he was having a falling-out with the team.
Between the two teams, Youkilis hit .235 with 19 homers and 60 RBI. Youkilis brings a lot of experience to the Yankees and understands the pressure of playing in a tough city and a tough division. The Yankees are running out of time and options at third, but with Youkilis, the Yankees will get a very gritty blue-collar player who could move to DH when Rodriguez returns; but more important for Yankee fans, he knows what it is like to be a part of the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox. Having Youkilis in pinstripes, with a chance to stick it to his old club, will bring a smile to both Youkilis and the fans in the Bronx.
The Yankees have been after Youkilis hard this whole week and the word from many Yankee sources is this deal is all but done.
In this quiet off-season for the usual un-thrifty Yankees, it has become frustrating for fans that are used to them going after the big name every year; but this is the new way and with so many players getting overpaid, it doesn’t seem like the worst plan this early in the winter.
If the Yankees aren’t able to get this deal finally signed, they will be left with just Jason Nix and Eduardo Nunez, an error machine, to hold down the hot corner. Thankfully, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman doesn’t look at Nunez as a third baseman, because he has a hard enough time fielding second and shortstop, much easier positions than third.
With Cashman’s admitting Nunez is not considered a third baseman, it is evident he realizes he needs to get the position taken care, of and nothing would be sweeter than having a former Red Sox to help the Bombers.
Also, it isn’t like the Yankees are reaching with Youkilis, as so many teams are this offseason. Youkilis is a three-time All-Star who is known for his ability to get on base. Even though his numbers have declined in recent years, he has been going through a lot, from being traded mid-season to the mess he had to deal with in Boston.
Last year he had his lowest batting average of his career, but it isn’t something to worry about. Being a Yankee will light the competitive fire in “Youk” and as Yankee fans have seen entirely too often, this man has the heart of a lion and is as competitive as they come in MLB.
Coming to the Yankees and being able to crush both his and the Yankees biggest rival will rejuvenate Youkilis’ career. He has a lot more left in the tank and plays as hard as any player in baseball, so although he had a down year, Youkilis will be ready to go in 2013.
In a worst case scenario, if Youkilis comes to the Yankees and doesn’t have a great year at the plate, he still brings a nice glove (winning a Gold Glove in 2007), and can also play first, which could also help him stay on the field even when Rodriguez returns.