Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting three-time All-Star Kevin Youkilis will sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league. Adams received the information through Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker.
The one-year deal has not been finalized, but Adams reports Youkilis will be able to bring his family with him, “which was a key factor in his decision.”
Youkilis is 34 years old and will be turning 35 in March. His 2013 campaign with the New York Yankees included only 28 games because of a herniated disk in his back. The injury required season-ending surgery in June.
Youkilis is well known for his time spent as a member of the Boston Red Sox from 2004 through part of 2012. He won a gold glove as a first baseman in 2007, but has spent time as a third baseman throughout his career. Youkilis has a career .281/.382/.478 slash. He knows how to work pitchers deep in the count, and get on base.
Interesting note: Much of the news coming from Japan is whether or not the Rakuten Golden Eagles will post pitcher Masahiro Tanaka so he can play in the States. Many Major League Baseball teams are interested in Tanaka, and the latest reports are saying the Golden Eagles will not post him.