Kevin Youkilis Rumors
The Yankees announced that they have signed infielder Kevin Youkilis on a one-year contract. The Pro Star Management, Inc. client obtains $12MM, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who first reported the agreement (via Twitter). Youkilis drew interest from a number of clubs this offseason, including the Indians and newly-minted skipper Terry Francona.
Youkilis struggled offensively as a member of the embattled 2012 Red Sox, hitting just .233/.315/.377 with four homers across 165 plate appearances. However, he bounced back after being traded to the White Sox and boosted his slash line to .236/.346/.425 with 15 home runs in 344 plate appearances.
The 33-year-old is expected to see significant time at third base as Alex Rodriguez recovers from surgery on his left hip. A-Rod will be out until at least May and could even be sidelined until July. When Rodriguez returns to action, Youkilis could help support him at third while also seeing time at first base and DH.
Cleveland bowed out of the Youkilis chase on Sunday when they inked Mark Reynolds to a one-year contract worth $6MM. Prior to that, the Tribe reportedly offered Youkilis a two-year deal worth approximately $18MM. Some also saw the free-spending Dodgers as a possible suitor for Youkilis, but it doesn't appear that they ever jumped into the mix.
Rosenthal notes (via Twitter) that this is another sign that the Yankees appear to be serious about tightening their belt before 2014. The Bombers are looking to get under $189MM limit by that point and they have inked Youkilis, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Hiroki Kuroda to one-year deals to help accomplish that.
- The Rangers haven’t pushed hard for free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports (on Twitter). It appears that they’ll look at other options following the departure of Hamilton. However, Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that LaRoche's name came up today and that Texas might be willing to offer three years (Twitter link).
- The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, and are looking at mid-rotation starters, including Edwin Jackson, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Managers Robin Ventura and Bobby Valentine reflected on Kevin Youkilis' 2012 season with Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Also within the piece, Sherman shows that the Giants won the 2012 World Series without spending more than $1.25MM on a free agent during the winter of 2011-12. Yes, Ryan Theriot was San Francisco's most expensive free agent signing a year ago.
- Multiple teams continue pursuing Nick Swisher, but the free agent outfielder is “not even close” to making a decision, Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). At least three clubs are in the mix and a fourth may be involved. The Indians appear to be pursuing Swisher aggressively, and the Red Sox, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and Orioles have also been linked to him.
Asdrubal Cabrera, arguably the top shortstop available, has drawn trade interest as a third baseman. Before the Winter Meetings began, the Indians and Phillies discussed a trade that would have sent the shortstop to Philadelphia for Vance Worley and prospects, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The Phillies, who have since sent Worley to the Twins and acquired Michael Young from the Rangers, would have used Cabrera at third base, according to Hoynes. While the Phillies offered Worley and two prospects, the Indians wanted more.
Cabrera, 27, will earn $6.5MM in 2013 and $10MM in 2014 before his contract expires. The switch hitter can block trades to the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Nationals, Giants and Mets. In 616 plate appearances this past season, he posted a .270/.338/.423 batting line.
The Indians appear to have closed the books on Kevin Youkilis, though they still have needs in left field and at DH. Nick Swisher remains a target for Cleveland, according to Hoynes. GM Chris Antonetti hopes to add to his rotation and the Indians have been in touch with most free agent starters.
The defending World Series champions play in the NL West, but the Giants are not the ones making the biggest headlines. Here’s the latest from the division, starting in Los Angeles...
- Barring something unexpected, the Dodgers are finished in the starting pitching market according to Olney (on Twitter).
- Zack Greinke signed for $147MM over six years, and he could earn even more money by opting out three seasons from now, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains. The Dodgers awarded Greinke the opt-out as a compromise, as the right-hander initially sought a seven-year deal with a no-trade clause, Rosenthal reports.
- One evaluator told ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Giants are still a better team than the Dodgers despite Los Angeles' aggressive spending. The Dodgers have questions on the left side of the infield and might be vulnerable against left-handed pitching, Olney writes.
- The Dodgers have discussed Kevin Youkilis and Anibal Sanchez, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. Sanchez may be more of a longshot given the Dodgers' internal rotation options. The team appears to have interest in dealing Aaron Harang, but Chris Capuano has drawn more trade interest, Knobler reports.
- The Dodgers have talked to the Pirates about Capuano, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter).
- Rosenthal wonders if the Padres could be a fit for Edwin Jackson, but concludes that San Diego probably won’t sign the free agent right-hander if he’s positioned to command a four or five-year deal (Twitter links). Padres executives Josh Byrnes and A.J. Hinch previously worked with Jackson in Arizona.
3:19pm: Youkilis is on the "backburner" for the Dodgers, so the Yankees have a good shot at signing him, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). The Rangers could also be in the mix for Youkilis.
1:09pm: Joe Bick, the agent for Kevin Youkilis, told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that the free agent infielder is “seriously considering” a “very legitimate” contract offer from the Yankees. In need infield depth following Alex Rodriguez’s hip injury, the Yankees are pursuing Youkilis, the longtime Red Sox star.
The Yankees made Youkilis a one-year, $12MM offer MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported last week. The Indians have also been linked to Youkilis, though he’s less of a fit now that Cleveland has agreed to sign Mark Reynolds. The free-spending Dodgers could be another suitor for Youkilis should they seek a more established option than Luis Cruz at third base.
Youkilis ranked 27th on MLBTR's list of top 50 free agents this offseason. In 509 plate appearances for the Red Sox and White Sox this past season the 33-year-old posted a .235/.336/.409 batting line with 19 home runs.
Here's a look at the latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com..
- The Yankees aren't involved with Josh Hamilton at this stage and would only consider it if he fell into their laps at a low number, Heyman tweets. In short, Heyman says it's not happening. The Yankees reportedly had people other than GM Brian Cashman running background checks on Hamilton.
- The Dodgers will consider a shortstop or third baseman but don't appear to be in on Kevin Youkilis at the moment, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman (via Twitter) also says not to be surprised if the Dodgers go after Anibal Sanchez or Kyle Lohse regardless of what happens with Hyun-Jin Ryu.
- In today's conference call, Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said (via Twitter) that he hasn't had a "final conversation" with the free agent slugger. Last week, manager Ron Washington revealed that Hamilton told the club that he will give them a chance to make a final offer before signing with another team.
The Indians are still pursuing free agent Kevin Youkilis and still trying to work out a multi-team trade involving Asdrubal Cabrera and the Diamondbacks, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). The Tribe is also looking at alternative moves in case Youkilis signs elsewhere or the complicated trade fails to materialize. We collected the latest items about the Tribe's pursuit of Youkilis and Nick Swisher earlier today on MLBTR and yesterday looked at the latest mountain of speculation surrounding this rumored multi-team deal that also reportedly involves the Rangers, Rays, Mariners, Justin Upton, Derek Holland and a number of young players.
The Reds have generated a lot of buzz this offseason as well, so let's check in on the latest from both of Ohio's clubs...
- Roberto Hernandez isn't expected to sign soon despite "a good market" for his services, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter). The Indians remain interested in re-signing Hernandez, who also has at least four other suitors.
- Reds GM Walt Jocketty didn't have any discussions about Michael Bourn with agent Scott Boras during the Winter Meetings, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty doesn't see Bourn as a fit in Cincinnati as the center fielder's asking price “would have to really fall."
- The Reds aren't going to trade Devin Mesoraco, a team insider tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (Twitter link). The young catcher was rumored to be a target of the Rays, who were trying to involve another club in a three-team trade that would bring Mesoraco to Tampa Bay.
- There is a "good chance" the Reds sign free agent infielder Jack Hannahan, a baseball source tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio (via Twitter). The Twins have dropped out of the running, though such teams as the White Sox, Marlins and Yankees are among the teams known to share the Reds' interest in Hannahan.
- As reported earlier today, the Reds agreed to terms with Ryan Ludwick and have talked to the Rockies about a trade for Dexter Fowler.
The Indians offered Shane Victorino four years and $44MM before he signed with the Red Sox, an indication that Cleveland has the capacity to spend on at least one major free agent this offseason. Here's the latest on the Indians, starting with a pair of free agent pursuits...
- While the Indians are hoping to sign Swisher to a four-year deal in the $48-50MM range, his market has shifted and he might now command a four-year, $60MM contract, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter).
- The Indians may have offered Youkilis more than $18MM for two years, Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports (on Twitter).
- Kevin Youkilis must decide whether to accept a two-year, $18MM contract to play for Terry Francona and the Indians or take a one-year, $12MM deal to play for the Yankees, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes (on Twitter).
- It appears as though Cleveland could be in the best position to sign Nick Swisher, Olney reports (on Twitter).
Yesterday it was reported that Kevin Youkilis is weighing offers from multiple teams, with the Indians in particular in hot pursuit. Here's a look at today's Youkilis rumors, with the latest coming on top...
- The Mariners are among the teams interested in Youkilis, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
- The Yankees' offer to Youkilis is for one-year and $12MM, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch (on Twitter). He has two-year offers from others in the $16-18MM range, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- In case you missed it overnight, talks between Youk and the White Sox never progressed to an advanced stage despite both sides being clear on what the other wanted.
Most of today's AL Central news consisted of Indians rumblings as the club looked to include Asdrubal Cabrera in a four-team blockbuster that has yet to come to fruition, but here's some more from around the division...
- Talks between the White Sox and Kevin Youkilis haven't reached an advanced stage despite each side knowing what the other is looking for, tweets Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Youkilis is said to have multiple offers, with the Indians intensifying their pursuit.
- Scott Boras continues to push Rafael Soriano on the Tigers, despite the team repeatedly expressing that they have no interest in the closer, writes Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times.
- MLB.com's Jason Beck runs down the Tigers' trade of Andy Oliver to the Pirates, explaining that Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski thought Oliver could benefit from a change of scenery after a roller-coaster tenure in the Tigers organization.