Free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis is sitting on a fairly lucrative offer from the New York Yankees, one that would net him $12 million for the 2013 season. He has not accepted at this time as he is reportedly also considering an offer from the Cleveland Indians that would pay him $18 million over the course of the next two seasons.
Kevin Youkilis’s decision is, at heart, a choice between playing for Cleveland/Francona at 2/18 or playing for the Yankees at 1 for $12m
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 7, 2012
The Indians have been utilizing their newly hired manager Terry Francona in all aspects of free agency recruiting, and no player — among those being considered by the Tribe — has a better history with the former Red Sox skipper. Indians general manager Chris Antonetti reportedly had interest in Youkilis last season, but opted to wait until the deadline to consider any deals — Youkilis was ultimately acquired by the Chicago White Sox in June.
“Francona and Youkilis always had a very close relationship, so that could give them one edge,” wrote CBS’ Jon Heyman earlier this year.
The 33-year-old corner infielder is coming off of a season where he provided a slash line of .235/.336/.409, but had an OPS of .771 in his 292 at-bats with the White Sox (a mark that would have been good enough for third-best among Indians in 2012). If acquired, he would offer clubhouse leadership and a much-needed right-handed bat while splitting time between first base, designated hitter and the disabled list.
[Related: Why Missing Out on Victorino is a Good Thing]