Kevin Youkilis, whose major-league career has been plagued by injuries, has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Youkilis' base salary will be $4 million, though WEEI.com's Alex Speier reports that the contract includes $1 million in incentives.
Youkilis signed a one-year, $12 million deal with the New York Yankees prior to the 2013 season, hoping to rebuild his value and establish his health. However, Youkilis played just 28 games for the Bombers, hitting a paltry .219/.305/.343 with two home runs before being sidelined by a balky back. The third baseman underwent season-ending back surgery in June.
The 34-year-old never played a full 162-game slate during his major-league career, and over the past four seasons, Youkilis has appeared in just 372 contests. The majority of the third baseman's injury woes concern his back, as he has undergone multiple procedures to repair a herniated disc. The injuries have also hampered Youkilis' production. Between 2004 and 2010, Youkilis averaged a .294/.394/.497 line and smacked 112 home runs. Since 2011, though Youkilis' production plummeted to .243/.350/.424, with just 38 homers.
The Greek God of Walks has maintained a high OBP despite his numerous injuries, but it seems that the 2014 campaign might be his last. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that Youkilis will play just one more year.