I for one love this move. I would love to see Youkliss in Pinstripes. Look for the last two years Youlkliss has been banged up and clearly not the same player. Has Age caught up? I think you can make that argument. But the Yankees put a very nice offer in front of him, which frankly I think will get him here. Let me address why I like this move:
1. Some risk, major reward. How many times do you see a player slump then come back and catch fire. Good players are good for a reason. Has Youkliss lost bat speed or injury. Look both are a concern, but if he is healthy he could certainly be a solid offensive player. When Youkliss is right he works pitchers, gets on base. Where I see Youkliss is a replacement for Swisher type offense but with less strikeouts. In 2012, he had a horrible year, which preceded 2011 which was a stark drop for him. Yet for Chicago he had a .771 OPS, the year before .833. What you have to like is there was some improvement in 2011.
2. Defensively Youk is on par with A-rod, not as good as Chavez. But again this is a one year deal.
3. When A-rod comes back Youk/A-rod will split time at third. Keeping both players fresh.
4. Youk will be playing for a new contract. If he takes the Indian deal which was roughly 2/16, he is conceding that as a free agent he is worth 1 year 4 million. Look if he hits .216 with 10 HR's he will wish he took the Indian deal. On the other hand if he takes the Yankee deal and hits .285 25HR 90RBIs, he could expect a 2 year 20-24 million deal in his future. Youklis is not going to get an impressive multi-year deal from anyone with his numbers. The Yankees going to 12 million fix a problem, and don't have to worry about 189 million as far as he is concerned.
5. I would be very happy with Youkliss, and Ichiro (who I have no idea why the Yankees aren't moving towards). Bring that together and you have the following lineup (you could toggle Gardner and Ichiro depending on performance and the pitcher.
We also have Nunez who is in the mix, who if he could figure out how to play third or the OF could solve some problems. Ironically I bet we see a lot of Nunez especially with A-rod out.
To be honest this is an old line-up. But what else can we do? We could have made a move for Chavez, but he makes Youkliss look healthy. I guess we could go after Reynolds, but I prefer Youkliss because I believe a strikeout machine is the last thing we need in the line-up.
Look does my line-up look old. Yes, but we have an old team, with no real young options in the OF or IF. Nunez would be great if he could play third, and frankly I think the Yankees should have sent him to winter ball to learn that position. I think they should play him a lot at third during Spring Training. He is the one cheap (internal) option we have who can hit. But I realize this might be tough and may never work, but lets try.
The truth is the Yankees are a team in decline. The only chance this team can rebound is if we can build around Banuelos, Betences, and Pineida. And lets face it at this juncture if we could bank one to be an ace we would take it. Yankees want to get under 189 million so they can go on a spending spree at a later date. We are going to have to deal with Paying Arod 20 million more than he is worth per year for the next 5 years, and that might be generous.
Winning divisions are going to be tougher and tougher. Yankees are an old team, and the rebuilding is going to be tough. Look when you are in the playoffs all but one year since 1995, its tough to build a young team.