Kevin Youkilis agrees to one-year deal in Japan

Youkilis to join defending Japan Series champion Rakuten Golden Eagles
12/20/2013 10:52 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Injuries limited Kevin Youkilis to just 28 games for the Yankees in 2013.(AP)
Kevin Youkilis is headed to Japan after agreeing to a one-year deal with the defending Japan Series champion Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Multiple sources reported the deal Friday morning, and according to Alex Speier of in Boston, Youkilis will make $4 million base salary with the chance to earn up to $1 million in additional incentives.

Youkilis, who turns 35 in March, signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees last winter to help fill in for the injured Alex Rodriguez, but he was limited to just 28 games due to multiple back injuries – the second of which required microdiscectomy surgery in mid-June and sidelined him for the remainder of the season – and he hit just .219 with two home runs and eight RBI.

For his career, Youkilis is a .281 career hitter with a .381 on-base percentage and 150 home runs in 10 seasons with the Red Sox, White Sox, and Yankees.

Youkilis had reportedly turned down an overture to return to the Yankees earlier this winter, citing a desire to play closer to his California home so he could be near his family – and according to, Youkilis’ agent, Joe Bick, said that Youkilis’ wife Julie and their children would accompany Kevin to Japan because the “life experience was too good to pass up.”

The Rakuten Golden Eagles won last year’s Japan Series in large thanks to pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who will join Youkilis in the red and gold if he is not made available to Major League teams via posting.

The 2013 Golden Eagles also featured several other notable names, including ex-Mets infielder Kaz Matsui, ex-Dodgers closer Takashi Saito, and three former Yankees: outfielder/DH Andruw Jones, who hit .243 with 26 homers and 94 RBI in 143 games, pitcher Darrell Rasner, who had 17 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 36 relief appearances, and third baseman Casey McGehee, who hit .282 with 28 homers and 93 RBI in 144 games.

The addition of Youkilis will help the Golden Eagles replace McGehee, who will return to the States in 2014 after signing a one-year, $1.1 million deal with the Miami Marlins.

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