I might be reading this wrong, but to me Youkilis seems like the type of player like Johnny Damon or Jermaine Dye who will completely read the market wrong and will still be looking for a deal in late January and early February. It’s just that he’s going to be 34 next year, he’s an injury risk, and he’s coming off a disappointing season where he hit just .236/.346/.425.
If I’m right and the Yankees can not only grab him on a one-year deal that isn’t too expensive then they will probably grab him up. He’s an injury risk, but they would really only need him for two to three months on an everyday basis. Also, despite his poor season last year he is just one season removed from a 123 OPS+ season so there is a bit of potential there.
A lot of people have brought up possible tension between him and the Yankees though, especially between him and Joba Chamberlain. However, I liken it to when the Yankees traded for Roger Clemens after the 1998 season. At the time Clemens had the well earned reputation for being a head hunter and had nailed Derek Jeter a few times. That worked out well though after Jeter greeted The Rocket at the clubhouse door wearing full catcher’s gear and the two eventually became good friends.
The point is that rivalries get headed, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Youkilis can’t get along on this team. There are obstacles to overcome with the biggest being finding common ground between him and the Yankees on contract terms. The possibility of a one-year deal will certainly get the Yankees attention, but they are not coming close to a $12 million offer.
Youkilis has a career .283/.384/.482 line. His 2011 numbers were really not far off that mark. He seems like a Lance Berkman type that seemed done, but if he can stay healthy he’ll probably be productive.