2009 Offseason: Youkilis signs long-term

MLB.com was the first to report that the Red Sox have reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension with first baseman Kevin Youkilis. The deal follows on the heels of a contract extension for Dustin Pedroia. Ideally, you don’t sign him after a breakout year, but after spending so much time and effort in trying to land Mark Teixeira, I think it was important for the Sox brass to make sure Youk is satisfied.

And happy he is, after getting a guaranteed $41.25M for the next four years. Youkilis gets a $1M signing bonus, and will earn annual salaries of $6M in 2009, $10M in 2010, and $12M in 2011 and 2012. Boston also holds a $14M one-year option for 2013 with a $1.25M buyout. Mrs. Youkilis is from Boston, which didn’t hurt either. This appears to be a significant discount for the Sox, and yet a fair number for Youkie as well.

What does this mean for young power-hitting phenom Lars Anderson? Nothing much. Youkilis will remain the insurance player for the Sox at first, and should Anderson merit a roster spot by then, Mike Lowell’s contract expires at the end of 2010. Youkilis could shift across the diamond yet again, though a couple more Gold Gloves could change that. In that situation, his contract will be very tradeable.

Papelbon, Lopez file for arbitration

Two Red Sox did file for salary arbitration. Closer Jonathan Papelbon has made it clear from last offseason that he thinks salary precedents are very important, and he has yet to reach an agreement with the front office for 2009. I don’t think a long-term deal is in the works because of his balky shoulder, but a satisfactory number should be reachable before arbitration hits. Javier Lopez will be re-signed as the team LOOGY, though hopefully he’s just keeping the seat warm for Hunter Jones.

Varitek met with Henry

Jason Varitek, unable to get a contract done with any other teams with that type A free agent status hanging around his neck, met privately with owner John Henry. He says he still wants to return to Boston, but his contract prospects have been rather screwed up by agent Scott Boras.


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