As free agent Kevin Youkilis decides where he will be playing next season, the 33 year-old veteran will have to choose between joining his former division rival or reuniting with his former coach, as the bidding war has come down to the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.
The Yankees have offered Youkilis a one-year deal worth $12 million, while the Indians have offered a two-year deal worth $18 million.
After getting off to a slow start with the Boston Red Sox, hitting just four home runs with 14 RBI in 42 games, Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox where he hit 15 home runs with 46 RBI in 80 games. He batted .235 for the season.
Youkilis is stuck with a tough choice to make as he weighs his options. Though the Yankees have a better chance of winning next season, Youkilis would be joining his former manager Terry Francona if he were to sign with the Indians.
Youkilis also played eight and a half seasons with the Boston, New York's biggest division rival. During that time, Youkilis was one of the most disliked players by Yankees fans, though he would be welcomed with open arms if he were to join New York's side in the rivalry.
Signing with the Indians would mean Youkilis would make more guaranteed money, but he could potentially earn more by signing with the Yankees this year then finding a lucrative offer next offseason if he performs well in pinstripes. The Yankees can't match Cleveland with a multi-year deal, however, because the team is looking to lower their payroll under $189 million after next season.
If Youkilis chooses the Indians, the Yankees will most likely turn their attention to other infield options such as Mark Reynolds or Jack Hannahan, if still available. Last year's backup third baseman, Eric Chavez, recently signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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