Kevin Youkilis is thought to be deciding between a one-year, $12 million offer from the Yankees and a two-year, $18 million proposal from the Indians. If he goes with New York, Cleveland has a backup plan.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians would likely turn to Mark Reynolds, who is capable of playing third base or first base. He should come cheaper than Youkilis, and it’s quite possible that he will be just as productive at the plate next summer.
Reynolds, 29, batted .221/.335/.429 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 135 games this past season for the Orioles.
Youkilis, 33, hit .235/.336/.409 with 19 homers and 60 RBI in 122 games between Boston and Chicago.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.