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Kevin Youkilis—Baseball’s Best Bargain

ProBaseball-fans.com Boston Red Sox Correspondent Elizabeth Dreeson brings us her latest update on Red Sox Nation.


Nearly six weeks after the Boston Red Sox locked up the American League’s Most Valuable Player, Dustin Pedroia; Kevin Youkilis signed a four-year contract worth $41.25 million dollars with an option for the fifth year. Kevin Youkilis had a break out year in 2008 hitting .312 while collecting 168 hits, 115 RBIs, and 29 home runs. Youkilis also made a nice transition from first base to third base when third baseman Mike Lowell was injured. He also proved to manager Terry Francona that he can hit effectively from anywhere in the batting order seeing that he moved to the fourth slot after future Hall of Fame slugger Manny Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers at the end of July. In 48 games hitting in the cleanup spot, he hit .299 with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs. Youkilis was another product of the Red Sox’s phenomenal farm system, which has also produced players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Dustin Pedroia, and Jonathan Papelbon. This contract cuts into the first two years that Youkilis would have been eligible for free agency, but Youkilis does not seem to have a problem with that. Youkilis started his career in Boston, he was an eighth round draft pick for the Red Sox in 2001, and made his major league debut in 2004.

Boston Red Sox merchandise Youkilis is not opposed to ending his career in Boston either: "It's a great feeling to know that I might also have the opportunity to end my career here, too… I would love to end my career playing for the Boston Red Sox. I always tell them I'm not looking to play until I'm 42, but I'm looking hopefully to end my career here with the Boston Red Sox." Dustin Pedroia shared similar feelings when he signed with the Red Sox, commenting on how much he loved playing in Boston. The Red Sox have now locked up two players who finished within the top three in the American League Most Valuable Player voting. The last time two Red Sox players finished first and third in the American League MVP voting was in 1986 when Roger Clemens finished first, and Jim Rice finished third.


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The only piece left of Theo Epstein’s very busy offseason puzzle, is Jason Varitek. The Red Sox’s captain since 2005 met with Red Sox owner John Henry Friday night for an hour and a half to discuss the future. Both parties have mutual interest in each other, but the only thing that could be standing in the way, is Varitek’s agent, Scott Boras.


By Elizabeth Dreeson
ProBaseball-fans.com Red Sox Correspondent

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