Yankees sign Kevin Youkilis to one-year, $12 million deal

The Yankees have finally signed a position player this offseason as they have agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal with former Red Sox Kevin Youkilis, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

The Yankees were limited in who they could even make offers to this offseason as the 2014 budget means that they can’t hand out multi-year deals this offseason. So they cast quite a wide net in their search for a replacement third baseman in the wake of Alex Rodriguez‘s hip surgery and landed Youkilis.

Youk was willing to take a one-year contract for multiple reasons. Potentially the biggest he is coming off career worsts in batting average and on base percentage and one of his worst years slugging percentage wise. Back issues were a large cause for those drop offs and also a large reason nobody was willing to invest in him on a multi-year deal.

There were supposedly up to three multi-year offers on the table for Youk, but the Yankees stepped up with a competitive $12 million offer while other teams were in the $6-$8 million range with their offers. He was said to have strongly considered the Indians’ offer since they are closer to his hometown of Cincinnati and run by his former manager Terry Francona. When the Indians locked up Mark Reynolds instead it cleared Youkilis’ path to Pinstripes.

Youkilis had a negative-4.5 UZR at third base last season and a positive-1.5 mark at the position throughout his career. He is expect to man the hot corner until July at the very least. That’s when A-Rod is expected to return from hip surgery, but Youk will likely still get the bulk of playing time there, but the Yankees could end up splitting time because he is still 34 and dealing with a back issue so it’s not like he can be expected to make even 145 starts.

My guess is that Youk plays at least 90-100 games at third base with A-Rod probably getting as many as 30 games at the position and a third player getting another player like Jason Nix or David Adams, who isn’t thought to be ready, but will get a good look during spring training and a probable midseason promotion, playing another 25-30 games.

The Yankees still have a lot of work to do this offseason. They still haven’t replaced either Nick Swisher or Russell Martin and still need a catcher as well. They are expected to re-sign Ichiro Suzuki possibly as early as this week, but with an all left handed outfield they could still pursue a right handed hitting compliment like Scott Hairston.

Youkilis has quite a bit of history with the Yankees. Notably, Joba Chamberlain seems to throw at him quite often and has even been beaned a few times by him. However, he joins a long list of Beantown defectors such as Babe Ruth, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Johnny Damon. Clemens and Derek Jeter had frequent run ins before he was a Yankee and the Yankee Captain even greeted Clemens at the clubhouse door wearing full catcher’s gear as a joke before the two eventually became close friends.

It should be noted that all the other Red Sox I listed eventually won World Series with the Yankees. That’s what this is about. No Yankees fans are going to be happy about this move, but he’s the best of what’s left in a thin third base market and they needed to go after him in order to field a strong lineup next season. Youk hit just .235/.336/.409 last season, but if healthy he is capable of much more so the Yankees rolled the dice on an unpopular player.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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20 Responses to Yankees sign Kevin Youkilis to one-year, $12 million deal

  1. Marc Perez says:

    can't wait to see him without that dumb goatee

  2. Mike says:

    He's a grunt type player, which the Yanks need more of. He could possibly be the same type of force that Damon was.

  3. Riccardo says:

    Love to hate him. A lot of memories with him, mostly being an arrogant, whining Red Sox. But at least he gives the game his all. Let's see what's he got left. Then he's history after this year (hopefully). Man, we're desperate.

  4. Peter says:

    Hate Youk? Are you serious? I love the guy and always have. Any real fan does. He's a winner and knows how to play the game right. I'm ecstatic, even if he's half his peak.

  5. ollie says:

    It won't matter if they sign a young Ted Williams if they don't find a "Major League Catcher"!

  6. Danny r. says:

    .235 hitter lat season ……yes yes he is our savior. He is horrible. This s what happens when they sit in their hands. Thank you mr. Cashman. No yanks for me till after all star break

    • ldubinsky says:

      you're silly. Youkilis is quite surviceable

      • Danny reyes says:

        I just don't like the fact that they had other options and they settled that's all

        • ldubinsky says:

          they had a better option than Youkilis?

          you mean the Nunez for Longoria trade that the Yankees repeatedly turned down because Tampa wouldn't include Matt Moore ?

    • Gonzalo Hiram says:

      Even if Youk is horrible, I'll be happier if you were not a Yankees fan. Hate spoiled fans

      • Danny Reyes says:

        You have no clue I real Yankee fan would not embrace thus move they had chances to go in different direction but they wasted time. I hope you not a Yankee fan. We done need frauds like you

  7. clay says:

    Hopefully Yuk is healthy in 2013. Like to him excel in stripes.

  8. Keena says:

    Love the signing. He plays with heart, something we need more of. Can play first and third and good defensively. Finally, some welcome news.

    • ldubinsky says:

      he's "good" defensively in the same way that Jeter is good defensively…. If he can get to the ball, he'll handle it, but his range isn't at all good.

  9. Tanned Tom says:

    A reasonable stop gap move. Plus he is a high OBP guy, which this team desperately needs. Still would've like to see Jeter moved to 3B and Nunez to SS. The big move that this needs after losing Martin and Swisher hasn't happened yet.

    • Matt_DC says:

      He is basically replacing Swish – high on base and will back up Tex at first as well. I like him over Mark Reynolds (before he signed with Cleveland), and any other available 2013 stop gap replacing A-Rod. I really wish they held on to Martin, though.

  10. Joe says:

    So what happens after next year? We can't sign no more free agents? what will be our payroll with all the current players we have signed thru 2014? This payroll budget move is going to completely ruin the Yankees IMO. Instead of being the dominate force we have been since 1996 we will quickly become just another team. IMO u will hear talks of the franchise being sold soon. What is the point for the Steinbrenners to keep the team? They built the new stadium and were set to keep moving forward and this rule completely derails those plans. It's just a matter off time before the Yanks net worth will start dropping so look for them to be sold in the next year.

  11. With the way television contracts have been going, the Yankees are not going to lose value even if fewer people actually show up to games.

  12. Don says:

    It was difficult to accept A-Rod's signing years ago. I eventually got over it, but I won't get over this one. I'm going to take the 2013 season off. I'll be back in 2014 after Youk's gone.

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