Former third baseman Kevin Youkilis is reuniting with Theo Epstein in the Cubs front office.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that Youkilis, who spent last season playing in Japan and officially announced his retirement in October, is joining the Cubs as a special assistant.
Kevin Youkilis is joining the Cubs as a special assistant
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) February 18, 2015
It is unclear as to what his role will be as it is a front office position, but given Youkilis’ gift for controlling the strike zone and reading pitchers, it seems like he will at least spend some time working with young Cubs hitters in some capacity this spring.
Youkilis was drafted by the Red Sox in 2001, before Theo Epstein was general manager there. Nevertheless, he was developed and brought to the major leagues under Theo’s regime emerging as one of the top hitters in the American League from 2006-2011 and now he’s rejoining his former mentor.
He was traded to the White Sox in mid-2012 and spent 2013 with the Yankees before going to Japan.
Youkilis didn’t have a particularly long MLB career, but he did mix in a three-year run as one of the AL’s best players, hitting .308/.404/.560 with 75 homers from 2008-10.
Youkilis was also part of two World Series winners in Boston, though he had only a small role as a rookie in 2004. In 2007, he hit .500 with three homers and 10 runs scored in the seven-game ALCS victory over the Indians and then went 2-for-12 in the sweep of the Rockies in the World Series. Overall, he was a .306/.376/.568 hitter with six homers in 29 postseason games.
Youkilis finished his career a .281/.382/.478 hitter with 150 homers and 618 RBI in 1,061 games.