It is all but official now.
Kevin Youkilis is about to sign a contract with the New York Yankees pending a physical, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
To clarify on Youkilis and #Yankees: Two sides in agreement, one year, $12M. Deal almost certainly pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 11, 2012
Yes, this does mean that Youk is handing in his old Sox for new pinstripes, but not a single Red Sox fan needs to consider Youkilis a traitor.
The former Red Sox infielder really was something special for his first club since the 2004 season. He was the heart of that lineup, thanks to his gritty at-bats and his ability to drive pitch counts up of opposing pitchers. The Red Sox could not wait for him to get completely healthy after returning to third base in 2012.
That is what ended it for the 33-year-old.
This gave Will Middlebrooks the chance to shine, and the rookie third baseman took full advantage of the situation. When Youkilis came back from his injury, he struggled to hit the ball or even get on base. This gave the Red Sox full reason to deal the struggling infielder in June to the Chicago White Sox.
With the White Sox, Youkilis still struggled with a .236 batting average but hit 15 home runs and had an on-base percentage of .346. This was a major upgrade over the four homers and the .315 OBP that he put up with the Red Sox from April to when he got traded in June.
Yes, the Yankees have basically signed the former Red Sox infielder already, but it is no reason for Red Sox fans to be upset.
Youkilis did not fit on this team anymore and he had a lot of trouble staying on the field over the past couple of seasons.
Plus, he is starting to get too old to play third base everyday. The Yankees will soon learn that with a huge $12 million hit on their payroll for a season, it will likely end for him when Alex Rodriguez returns after healing from his hip injury.
Overall, Red Sox fans need to be smart about this move and realize that it was the best deal for Youkilis and that it just so happens to be their rivals that dropped the ball to sign him. Yes, he will see his old teammates 18 or so times a season now and fans should show him the courtesy by not booing him.
After all, he did win two World Series with this ball club.