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December 11, 2012

Former Sox star Youkilis signs one-year deal with Yankees

NEW YORK— Kevin Youkilis is about to get a different look at the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

The hard-nosed Youkilis, who helped personify Boston’s championship teams over the past decade, on Tuesday became the latest former Red Sox star to switch sides and land in Bronx. The free agent reached a deal that filled New York’s immediate need for a third baseman to fill in for injured Alex Rodriguez.

The one-year contract for $12 million is pending a physical. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press about the agreement under condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

Youkilis, who turns 34 in March, is expected to play third base while Rodriguez recovers from hip surgery. A-Rod plans to have the operation in mid-January and could be sidelined until the All-Star break or beyond.

A three-time All-Star, Youkilis will get an early look at his old club. The Red Sox are set to open next season at Yankee Stadium on April 1.

Johnny Damon, Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs are among the Boston stars who wound up in pinstripes in recent times. Of course, the most famous player to make that move was Babe Ruth.

For years, Youkilis was among the more popular players at Fenway Park — scruffy and intense, Boston fans loved how he battled the Yankees. Youkilis and Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain had their own feud that exemplified the ill will between the clubs — the inside fastballs that caused the trouble between them tapered off in recent seasons and now they’re set to become teammates.

Minus Rodriguez for several months, the Yankees tried to find a fill-in. They made the offer to Youkilis last week at the baseball winter meetings. The agreement was first reported by Fox Sports.

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