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Monday, December 10, 2012
Youk the man?

By Andrew Marchand

With Mark Reynolds signing on with the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees appear to have the inside track on inking Kevin Youkilis to play third base.

Youkilis is expected to decide soon.

"He'll make a decision when it is the right time," Youkilis' agent, Joe Bick, said.

Kevin Youkilis
Kevin Youkilis split his time last season between a pair of Sox -- first Red, then White.
The Yankees have turned to Youkilis after their first choice -- a platoon of Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez -- fell through. An agent at last week's Winter Meetings mentioned that some players might be hesitant to sign with the Yankees because Alex Rodriguez will eventually return to play third, meaning they will not receive enough at-bats. This would impact how much they could make in the future.

The Yankees have offered Youkilis a one-year, $12 million deal.

The Yankees are still looking for a right fielder to replace Nick Swisher. Ichiro Suzuki is the favorite to be signed to a one-year deal. Fox Sports reported the Yankees are "all over" Ichiro.

If the Yankees were to sign Ichiro, they would look to add a right-handed outfielder to fill the role of Andruw Jones.

As for Josh Hamilton, the Yankees cannot be ruled out. They could add Hamilton, while still reaching their goal of a $189 million payroll by 2014. In part of this potential equation, the Yankees could simply let Curtis Granderson leave after this season or deal him. Granderson is owed $15 million in 2013.

If the Yankees were to trade Granderson and sign Hamilton, they would essentially be dealing Granderson for Hamilton and whatever players they received in a Granderson transaction. It actually makes a lot of sense, if the Yankees come to the conclusion Hamilton can handle New York. Yankees officials have acted lukewarm to the idea, but they might be acting coy.

QUESTION: How much would offer Josh Hamilton?