August 26, 2014

Report: Indians offer Kevin Youkilis $18 million deal

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.

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 other obvious relationship is the ill one embraced by the Red Sox and Yankees.

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]

  • REEPJP

    “…while splitting time between first base, designated hitter and the disabled list.”

    In other words…Hafner about 3 years ago, but $3M less per year.

  • mgbode

    He’s averaged ~120games instead of ~90 from Hafner + he plays a position. $9mil/year seems a bit rich for him, but getting him is better than any other option I see right now for 1B.

  • REEPJP

    Agreed….It might be a pipe dream, but hopefully the familiarity and relationship with Franc will allow him to get the rest his body needs during the spring and early part of the season so he can return to the menace he was a few years ago.

  • nj0

    Hafner hasn’t played the field since 2007.

  • mgbode

    really, I’ll take just 2 years ago. 120+OPS and 120games. I’ll definitely take that output.

  • Brandon

    Why are we wasting 18 million on this bum?!?!?! He’s over the hill, injury prone, and way too expensive. It’s not like we’re going to compete for a World Series the next two years, so why not use that money to extend Masterson Perez or someone else?

    Look at what the A’s did last year. They signed Cespedes to a 4 year 36 million. Same per year, twice the length but a guy with potential who could help them in the future. Our acquisition would certainly hurt our future. Making moves like this just makes me shake my head.

  • 216in614

    Not sure on this one. He is the type of player I do like to root for though…

  • mgbode

    also, it’s important to track Greinke. if you are a fan of the proposed trade with the D-Backs, then root for Greinke to Texas. all the buzz is that if Texas signs Greinke, then their plan is to trade for Justin Upton (which is part of our trade of Asdrubal).

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove12/story/_/id/8722059/much-left-undone-baseball-winter-meetings

  • cmm13

    Clubhouse and stop gap.
    end of story.

  • Garry_Owen

    Which then gets us Swisher. I’m on board. Root, root, root for the Rangers.

  • cmm13

    Actually I will take that back… he is also a name. Antonetti is desperate for “names” to sell the new luxury seats for. Victorino, Youklis, Swisher… all names that fringe fans identify with.

  • mgbode

    cmon Nolan Ryan, throw that $$ around!

  • mgbode

    how does having Youk for 2 years hurt our future?

    I agree I’d rather have Cespedes at that $$ (I was more bummed we missed on him last offseason than Joshy-W), but I don’t see how he actually hurts our team. I mean, it’s not like he’d be blocking some young dynamo we have at 1B in the minors.

  • Jay

    He’s the Greek God of Walks!
    /Moneyball’d