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Sox, Youkilis agree on long-term extension

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  January 15, 2009 06:20 PM

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Multiple baseball sources confirmed today that the Red Sox and first baseman Kevin Youkilis reached agreement on a four-year, $41 million contract extension through 2012, a deal that also includes a $13 million club option for 2013 that could bring the deal to $53 million over five seasons.

Should the option be exercised, Youkilis's contract would be worth an average of $10.6 million over the next five seasons.

While a precise breakdown of Youkilis's deal was not available, the four-year, $41 million package includes a $1 million buyout in lieu of the $13 million option. If the Sox exercise the option, Youkilis would lose the buyout in exchange for the $13 million salary in 2013, bringing the total value to $53 million.

Because Youkilis's deal will not be finalized until he passes a physical exam Friday, he filed for arbitration before Thursday's deadline. His request for arbitration will be voided once the deal is formalized.

The Sox have already signed 2008 American League MVP Dustin Pedroia this offseason, inking him to a six-year, $40.5 million deal in December.

In Theo Epstein's tenure as general manager, the team has yet to go to arbitration with any player. Jonathan Papelbon is the other big name who is eligible for arbitration this year.

Youkilis, who will turn 30 March 15, earned $3 million this past season. He had the finest season of his five-year career in 2008, batting .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. Youkilis finished third in the MVP voting and won the Hank Aaron Award as the league's top offensive performer.

Interestingly, in late December, Youkilis's agent, Joe Bick, said it was unlikely that the player would agree to a long-term deal this offseason.

“We’ve had some initial conversations,” toward a long-term contract, Bick told the Globe. “It doesn’t look promising.”

The Globe's Amalie Benjamin contributed to this report.

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