Ex-Red Sox Kevin Youkilis and the Yankees reached a deal Tuesday, a person familiar with the negotiations said, returning the hard-nosed former All-Star to the American League East and filling New York’s need for a third baseman.
The one-year contract for $12 million is pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.
Youkilis is expected to play third base while Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery. Rodriguez plans to have the surgery in mid-January and could be sidelined until the All-Star break or beyond.
Eric Chavez, A-Rod’s backup for most of last season, joined Arizona last week. The Yankees considered several options as a stopgap at third, including Jeff Keppinger and Mark Reynolds, but both accepted deals with other teams.
Youkilis turns 34 in March. He played third base and first base last season for the Red Sox and White Sox.
Youkilis was traded to the White Sox last June as Boston’s new management reshaped the roster. He combined to hit a career-low .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs.
An All-Star in 2008, 2009, and 2011, Youkilis won a Gold Glove at first base in 2007. He is a .283 hitter with 148 home runs in nine seasons, and was on Boston teams that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007.
For years, Youkilis was one of the more prominent faces in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, and his intensity made him among the more popular players at Fenway Park. He and Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain had a feud that exemplified the ill will between the clubs — the inside fastballs that caused the trouble tapered off in recent seasons — and now they’re teammates.
Indians trade Choo to Reds
The Reds, Indians, and Diamondbacks finalized a deal that sent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Jason Donald to Cincinnati, outfielder Drew Stubbs, righthanders Trevor Bauer,
Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw to Cleveland, and shortstop Didi Gregorius, lefthander Tony Sipp, and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona. Choo, 30, was entering the final year of his contract . . . National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey, who can become a free agent after 2013, said he won’t negotiate a contract once the season starts . . . Righthander Brandon McCarthy and the Diamondbacks finalized a $15.5 million, two-year contract . . . The Dodgers introduced Zack Greinke after signing him to a $147 million, six-year deal, a record for a righthander . . . The Royals signed veteran pitchers George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler and veteran outfielder Willy Taveras to minor league contracts . . . Former Padres pitcher Willie Blair rejoined the team as bullpen coach . . . Free agent slugger Jim Thome told CSNPhilly.com that he'd like to play next season . . . Former baseball phenom pitcher David Clyde, 57, was arrested last weekend in Harris County, Texas, and charged with driving while intoxicated.