Will Kevin Youkilis choose Yankees pinstripes?
The Yankees have made a one-year, $12 million offer to free agent Kevin Youkilis, hoping that he will be their answer to fill in for the injured Alex Rodriguez at third base.
Youkilis has also received serious interest from the Indians, who might be willing to give him a two-year contract to play at their corner infield positions. The Yankees obviously prefer one-year deals at this point, given their stance of reducing payroll below $189 million for 2014, and their generous offer to Youkilis seems to take Cleveland’s interest into account, matching Youkilis’ 2012 salary.
Youkilis is an Ohio product and would be turning down a chance to play for manager Terry Francona if he comes to the Yankees.
It’s worth noting that he doesn’t exactly seem to be the most popular figure with the Yankees’ followers (my Twitter feed lit up with plenty of negative reaction this morning when news of the offer broke), but hey, it seemed to work out OK with Johnny Damon. Personally, I hope the Yankees would put his locker right next to Joba Chamberlain’s, just to see what happens.
One last quick note – I’m told Youkilis has no axe to grind with the Red Sox despite their messy breakup; in fact, he’s still perceived as very popular with the Boston fan base. Could Yankees fans accept Youk as one of their own? Maybe we’ll find out.
UPDATE: Youkilis didn’t have much to say about his future at a Boston charity event on Thursday evening, reports Evan Drellich.
“I can’t comment on any of that stuff right now,” Youkilis said. “We’re here for the charity and having fun. Baseball will come soon. Too soon. I can’t enjoy the offseason for too long, so hopefully I enjoy it as much as possible with my family. Spring Training is right around the corner.”