Kevin Youkilis Makes Sense for Yankees to Replace Alex Rodriguez at Third Base
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Every year, it seems Alex Rodriguez finds his way into the news, and mostly the last few seasons it has seldom been for positive reasons.
Every year, it also seems Alex Rodriguez finds his way onto the disabled list, and in 2013 he will get a head start when he undergoes hip surgery in January, which will sideline him for four to six months.
This is yet another injury A-Rod has suffered that will undoubtedly further his decline. Reports say he was dealing with this one during the postseason, which could explain why he looked so pathetic and lost, especially against right-handed pitching.
So, not only are the Yankees in search of a starting catcher with the loss of Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates, they also will need to fill a hole at third base while Rodriguez is out.
The Yankees might decide to bring back Eric Chavez, who played some outstanding ball filling in for Rodriguez this past season when A-Rod was on the DL for a broken wrist.
The Yankees may instead decide to go the cheap, in-house route and start Eduardo Nunez. However, it has been painfully established that Nunez is not a starting-caliber player at any position, as he is a mediocre hitter at best and an absolutely abysmal fielder, rating at -8.7 UZR in 419.1 career innings at 3B.
There are plenty of other options the Yankees can pursue both in house and around baseball. However, none of them make more sense than one man: Kevin Edmund Youkilis, The Greek God of Walks himself.
The former Red Sox infielder has also had some injury history the last few seasons. He was one of the early scapegoats in the destruction of the Red Sox roster in 2012, being traded to the Chicago White Sox in late June.
After struggling in his last days in Boston, Youk enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence as a member of the Pale Hose, hitting 15 homers to a tune of a .771 OPS and 106 OPS+. He filled the hole at third base the ChiSox had, and he can do the same for the Yankees.
If Youkilis could be had for two to three years, $22-$37 million, it would be a very good deal for the Yankees.
Even when A-Rod comes back, Youkilis has plenty of versatility to bounce around the lineup. He played first base for so many years and can back up Mark Teixeira every once in a while.
He also has a history of playing in the outfield (mostly in the 2009 season), so it's possible he could fill that role in an emergency.
When everyone is healthy, he would be the full-time designated hitter, but could possibly become the full-time third baseman if the Yankees decide to make A-Rod the full-time DH.
He's a right-handed hitter with power, producing at the same level of A-Rod at this point, but that's not a bad thing. The Yankees are loaded with left-handed hitters.
But the best thing about Youkilis? He grinds out every at-bat to the tune of a .384 career on-base percentage. He has never posted a walk rate below 10% in his career.
The Yankees are clearly in need of hitters like Youkilis after seeing their home run or bust utterly fail in the ALCS against Detroit. Youkilis hits HRs, too, but he isn't reliant on them to be useful.
Getting Youkilis would also be interesting as he would become yet another former Red Sox player to defect to their hated archrival. Best of all, it would spite Red Sox Nation for them to see a fan favorite to don the pinstripes.
All of these reasons support the idea that Kevin Youkilis to the New York Yankees makes so much sense. They have a need, and he is a perfect match due to his versatility and his style of play. He could bring positive results to the lineup.
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