Yankees Sign Kevin Youkilis to a One-Year Deal

Kevin Youkilis, the Greek God of Walks as he is known, left the Boston Red Sox last year.  He left the team he had played his entire career for with dignity and was given a hero's send-off by the fans.  Now, that hero will be playing for the enemy.  At least if you're a Red Sox fan it will feel that way.  Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the New York Yankees yesterday.

As David Waldstein of the New York Times points out, the Youkilis signing by the Yankees is just another in a long line of former Red Sox players to sign with the Evil Empire.  Wade Boggs, Roger Clemen, and Johnny Damon came before Youkilis.  But they will all be remembered not by what they did in Boston but what they do in New York.

Kevin Youkilis has seen his production decline in recent year.  Part of that is due to age.  The other part is due to injury.  Youkilis suffered a back strain in May of this past season and was placed on the disabled list.  He played in just 122 games in 2012.  However, he has proven himself to be a difference maker at times.  He brings veteran leadership (even though the Yankees have plenty of that), and he fills a void.  Third base.

Alex Rodriguez's hip surgery will mean New York needs a third baseman to step in and play the hot corner while ARod recovers.  Youkilis will be that guy.  What happens when Rodriguez returns is anyone's guess, but the move to sign Youkilis was all but solidified as soon as the Yankees announced Rodriguez's injury last week.  He was the obvious choice to fill the hole.

In his career, Youkilis has hit .283/.384/.482 in his career.  He is a three-time All-Star and has one Gold Glove.  Youkilis carved a career out for himself with an unorthodox approach at the plate and an uncanny ability to make a pitcher work.  Youkilis was every bit as much a threat to walk as he was to get a hit.  He should continue that in New York.

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