Now that the Yankees have lost out on some of their free agent third base targets in Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez, they’re looking to another free agent in former White Sox and Red Sox Kevin Youkilis. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets that the team has made an offer to the 33-year-old third baseman.
The Yankees are still looking to find someone who can fill in at third for part of the season as Alex Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery. Youkilis would be a good fit, as he can also play first base after A-Rod returns.
Youkilis, the longtime Boston star and Moneyball dubbed “Greek God of Walks,” was traded to Chicago in the middle of last season and hit .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI between Boston and Chicago. It was a down year for a guy who has been considered one of the toughest outs in baseball.
In addition to pursuing Youkilis, the Yankees are also listening to trade offers for Curtis Granderson, tweets Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. He also notes that pitchers Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova could be up for discussion.
The lefty hitting Granderson, 31, has been probably the biggest benficiary of the short porch in right field at the new Yankee Stadium, as he has parked over 40 home runs each of the last two years, while his previous career high in a season was 30. His batting average, however, took a big dip last season, as he hit .232, a career low. He still hit 43 home runs and drove in 106 though.
Granderson is set to make $13 million in 2013 in the final year of his current contract, so moving him could make room on the payroll for Youkilis at a similar salary. It may sound strange to talk about the Yankees shedding salary, but the team with a free-spending reputation is on a mission to avoid paying luxury tax this season, team officials have said.
With lots of teams looking for pitching, it makes sense that the Yankees would listen on a couple of their younger starting pitchers as well. Hughes, 26, had a fairly good year last year, going 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 32 starts. He is arbitration eligible for the final time this season. The 25-year-old Nova pitched to a 12-8 record with a 5.02 ERA in 2012. He is still making league minimum and will be arbitration eligible for the first time next offseason.