In Boston for charity event, Youkilis mum on future
Former Red Sox star has offer from Yankees; Indians also reportedly in mix
BOSTON -- The late Bob Sheppard probably couldn't have envisioned a day where he'd announce Kevin Youkilis' name in the Yankees lineup. Then again, Sheppard probably felt the same way about Johnny Damon circa 2005, too.
Youkilis, the longtime Red Sox star and free agent, was back in Boston on Thursday night for his annual charity event. He has a one-year, $12 million offer standing from the Yanks, with New York in need of a third baseman with Alex Rodriguez out for a long time. Youkilis didn't throw another log on the rumor-mill fire.
"I can't comment on any of that stuff right now," Youkilis said. "We're here for the charity and having fun. Baseball will come soon. Too soon. I can't enjoy the offseason for too long, so hopefully I enjoy it as much as possible with my family. Spring Training is right around the corner."
Youkilis, who turns 34 in March, hasn't started swinging yet. He's been working out in San Jose, Calif., after a 2012 where he had a .235/.336/.409 line and 19 home runs between the Red Sox and White Sox.
Almost all of those home runs came with Chicago, after Boston traded Youkilis midseason.
Youkilis joked he's already worn pinstripes, with the White Sox. And he feels at least some of the teams that have come knocking this winter have been "good choices."
"I did have pinstripes last year, but no one ever had a problem with those pinstripes," Youkilis said. "The White Sox had pinstripes. We're very fortunate we have a few teams we're discussing and there's nothing really final. We're very fortunate that a lot of teams want me right now. We have a handful of good choices. We have to sit down with my family and agent and all that stuff. In due time, we'll find out."
Youkilis didn't say whether he preferred first or third base. He is enjoying the free-agent process, though. It's hard not to when teams want you. He got married this year, and he's a new father as well.
"I think everyone should go through [free agency]," Youkilis said. "It's fun, it's different, something different in life, kind of a journey. When you're on a team every year you to Spring Training and don't think of anything but it's kind of fun, something different, a life experience. I think every guy should enjoy it, if you're just stressed out all the time -- I mean, yeah, there are going to be things that are stressful like, 'What's going on?'
"And you hear this and that and 'This guy's getting how much? That guy just signed for this?' There's so many different variables, but then you've just got to sit back and enjoy the ride. I might never go through it again, you know? You may go through free agency only one time in your career. Some guys will never go. [Evan] Longoria will never go, David Wright. But they're doing all right for themselves."
The Indians have reportedly made Youkilis an offer as well, and there'd be a natural reunion there: Cleveland's managed by ex-Boston skipper Terry Francona.
The two have talked.
"I don't know anything other than playing for Tito," Youkilis said. "He's great, he's doing good. Talked to him. He's doing great. He seems happy. I know he wasn't happy a year ago at this point. So that's good. He's back, seems happy, seems excited, taking over in Cleveland."
Youkilis said he enjoyed his time in Chicago, and that he'll never forget Fenway Park. He called Fenway his mecca, while acknowledging that Wrigley Field and -- yes, Yankee Stadium -- are meccas for some too.
The event that brought Youkilis back to Boston was his third Annual Youk's Kids Not Your Average Idol night, which featured food from some of Boston's best restaurants and a performance from Vanessa Carlton. Former Red Sox teammates Ryan Kalish and Chris Carpenter showed up and an auction was held, with memorabilia and items including a Youkilis portrait by renowned sports artist Brian Fox. Youk's Kids is dedicated to children's needs in Boston and other areas.
"There's so many great people who have done such great work here," Youkilis said. "We finally got to $4 million raised for charity. You can't give up on such a great cause in such a great city that has helped out in so many ways. We plan on keeping an event here, try to get it every year. And if some years it doesn't get there, we'll get it the next year. Luckily, we have guys like Shawn Thornton [of the NHL's Boston Bruins] to help out and pick up the slack in case I can't be here for some reason."