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Rakuten Golden Eagles Sign Former New York Yankees 1B/3B Kevin Youkilis to 1-Year Deal

December 20th, 2013 at 3:44 PM
By Douglas Rush

Kevin Youkilis and Tom Selleck's character Jack Elliot from the hit 1990's movie, "Mr. Baseball" seem to have quite a bit in common these days.

They were both postseason heroes approaching the later stages of their careers, both of which were playing for the New York Yankees when they were struggling and then they head off to Japan to attempt to revive their careers.

If you haven't seen the movie; first off, after reading this article, go and rent or buy it. Secondly, if you have seen the movie, you'll notice the trend from the movie of Selleck's fictional character of Jack Elliot, especially since the 35-year-old veteran is heading to the land of the rising sun.

Youkilis has signed a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, as Patrick Newman of the Japanese League's NPB Tracker had confirmed the signing of Youkilis on Friday through Twitter.

"Nikkan Sports: Rakuten is going to acquire Kevin Youkilis," he tweeted.

Last season, Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million deal to play with the New York Yankees after spending nine years with the Boston Red Sox and part of one with the Chicago White Sox and it wasn't meant to be for the man known as the "Greek God of Walks," as he only played in 28 games for the Yankees while hitting .219 with two home runs and five RBI and missing most of the season due to needing surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.

Youkilis was originally signed to take the spot for the recovering Alex Rodriguez while he recouperated from off-season hip surgery, but Youkilis himself spent even more time on the sidelines than A-Rod did. Youkilis being out for most of the 2013 season lead to extended playing time to Lyle Overbay at first base with Mark Teixeira being out for most of the season and also lead to the signing of Mark Reynolds; someone the Yankees are contemplating a reunion with for 2014.

Youkilis will take the spot of former Yankees third basemen Casey McGehee on the Rakuten Japanese team, as he returned to American after a season over in Japan and signed a one-year deal with the Miami Marlins. For Youkilis, he can only hope that he will have the same kind of success in 2014, as he finds his old form from when he won two World Series with the Red Sox and finished third in the American League MVP voting and potentially get back to the majors by 2015; that is if his back will allow him to.

Youkilis will also become a teammate of a pitcher that the Yankees desperately were trying to acquire for the 2014 season in Masahiro Tanaka; Rakuten would not allow Tanaka to come to the United States and offered him a larger contract to stay in his native country.

Photo creditKeith Allison / / CC BY-SA

Tags: Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Reynolds, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Rakuten Golden Eagles

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