June 5, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis (36) doubles to left against the Cleveland Indians during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Former Yankees IF Youkilis Leaves MLB, Joins Rakuten in Japan

After previously stating that he would prefer to play closer to his home on the west coast, former New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis has signed a contract to head overseas to join the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported the news, with the terms of Youkilis’ new contract unavailable.

Youkilis was a major disappointment for the Yankees last season, playing in only 28 games before going under the knife to repair multiple issues with his ailing back. During his 28-game stint in the Bronx, Youkilis hit a meager .219. The Yankees had expressed interest in possibly bringing him back for a second season in New York, but efforts were rebuffed.

As of right now, Youkilis will join highly coveted pitching prospect Masahiro Tanaka for the defending champion Golden Eagles. Tanaka’s posting is still up in the air. Youkilis owns a pair of World Series rings, having been a member of the Boston Red Sox title teams in 2004 and 2007. There were reports that the Miami Marlins were also interested in Youkilis as an option at third base, but that interest quickly waned after former Yankees’ infielder Casey McGehee signed with the Marlins earlier in the week.

Tags: Casey McGehee Kevin Youkilis New York Yankees Rakuten Golden Eagles

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