While struggling to stay healthy and productive in the second half Kevin Youkilis indicated that he was headed for offseason sports hernia surgery and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that he’ll likely go under the knife Tuesday.
According to Bradford there’s still some chance Youkilis could decide against surgery if a last-minute examination by doctors convinces them of non-surgical options, but he’s expected to have the operation and won’t be cleared to resume physical activities for 4-6 weeks.
Youkilis hit .285 with a .911 OPS in the first half, but then batted just .199 after the All-Star break and played just 10 of the final 40 games.
He sat out the final two weeks as the Red Sox collapsed down the stretch and likely would have been unavailable for the playoffs had they hung onto the Wild Card lead.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.