Indians sign Reynolds making Youkilis to Yankees more likely

The Cleveland Indians have reportedly agreed to sign Mark Reynolds to a one-year, $6 million deal which likely takes them out of the running for Kevin Youkilis.

The Yankees had previously made Youkilis a one-year, $12 million offer, but the Indians were thought to be a good landing spot for him as well with a two-year, $18 million offer that would also allow him to play in his home state of Ohio for his former manager Terry Francona.

With the Indians offer likely off the table it opens a path for Youkilis to join the Yankees. However, it also takes one of their best backup options off the table if Youk still signs somewhere else.

The Yankees are expected to be without Alex Rodriguez until at least June, and probably later, so they have gone on an all out press to find a replacement third baseman. The problem is they’ve been limited by a thin market and an inability to make multi-year offers so they have missed out on a lot of good targets.

Youkilis is probably their next best chance to have a solid, regular third baseman. He does come with some risk though as he is coming off a season where he set career lows in batting average (.235) and on base percentage (.336). His slugging percentage (.409) was also close to the lowest mark of his career. He’s 34-years-old and dealing with back problems, something that has scarred off the Yankees in the past.¬†Youk is four years removed from even playing in 145 games in a season.

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