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Yankees reach agreement with Youkilis

12/11/2012 6:05 PM ET
By Jon Lane

The New York Yankees have reached an agreement with free agent Kevin Youkilis to take over third base until Alex Rodriguez is healthy, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Following a physical, Youkilis will sign a one-year deal worth $12 million. The veteran slugger made $12.25 million for Boston and the Chicago White Sox in 2012 and the Yankees’ proposal is in line with their fiscal structure for 2013.

Rodriguez will undergo left hip surgery in January and will be out of action until the summer. Combined with Eric Chavez’s defection to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Jeff Keppinger signing with the White Sox, Youkilis fills a hole at third base. He batted .235 for Boston and Chicago last season, turns 34 next March and was also targeted by the Cleveland Indians, among other teams. His best season came in 2008, when he batted .312 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs for the Red Sox. Injuries have plagued him in recent seasons and the Red Sox traded him to the White Sox in June to create an opportunity for rookie Will Middlebrooks.

Now like Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon before him, "Youk" joins the other side of the rivalry.

He played 111 games at third base and 26 games at first last season for the Red Sox and White Sox. Once A-Rod comes back, Youkilis will likely be a fill-in at third base, first base and designated hitter.

He also fills a need for a right-handed power hitter with Andruw Jones' departure to Japan.

And in a twist, Youkilis is now teammates with Joba Chamberlain, who’s thrown over his head numerous times. But like with notorious headhunter Clemens and Derek Jeter, expect any bad feelings to evaporate immediately.

“There are some guys, the way they play the game, some pitchers, the way they pitch the game, you say, ‘This guy is not a nice person,’” Robinson Cano told the New York Daily News at David Ortiz's charity golf tournament in the Dominican Republic over the weekend. “I don’t think [Joba] ever hit him on purpose. I would tell you that [Joba] would be the first that’s gonna be happy to see him on our team.”

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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