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Kevin Youkilis joins Rakuten Golden Eagles

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The former All-Star will spend 2014 playing in Japan.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Youkilis has reached an agreement with the Rakuten Golden Eagles that will have him spend the 2014 season in Japan, according to Patrick Newman via Nikkan Sports. The 34-year-old's deal is reported to be a one-year contract with a base salary of $4 million. He could also earn up to $1 million in performance incentives.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick adds that 2014 could be Youkilis' final season.

A three-time All-Star and former Gold Glove award winner, Youkilis spent the first 8 and a half years of his career with the Boston Red Sox. He accrued a 31.3 WAR in Boston as he emerged as one of the best hitters in the game with a knack for getting on base as evidenced by his .281/.382/.478 career batting line. His best season probably came in 2009 when he hit .305/.413/.548 with 27 home runs, 99 runs scored, 77 walks, a 6.9 WAR, and a 146 OPS+, though you could argue his .312/.390/.569 (144 OPS+, 6.3 WAR, finished 3rd in AL MVP voting) 2008 season was better.

Youkilis left the Red Sox in a midseason trade to the Chicago White Sox in June of 2012. After an 80 game stint in Chicago, he decided to move on, signing a one-year, $12 million contract with the Yankees last winter. Unfortunately, injuries allowed him to play in just 28 games for New York. He reportedly received interest from as many as 9 MLB teams this offseason.

Youkilis had previously expressed a desire to play closer to his home in California in order to spend more time with his family. However, Youkilis' wife and children will join him in Japan for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a year enriched abroad.

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