Youkilis hopes additions bring 'fun', title

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Youkilis hopes additions bring 'fun', title

The importance of team chemistry is sometimes pooh-poohed in baseball's analytical circles, but Kevin Youkilis endorsed it Wednesday night.

In an interview with Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran, Youkilis emphasized chemistry as half of his two-pronged reaction to the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The other? The increased chance of winning a World Series.

"It's very exciting just to have these guys come help and try to win a championship," Youkilis told Moran. "Hopefully, they can step in and we'll just try to have fun and enjoy ourselves this year and just keep it loose around the clubhouse."

Youkilis knows Crawford personally, and has high hopes for the new power-hitting first baseman in town.

"Carl Crawford's a great guy," he said. "Adrian Gonzalez I don't know much about, but I've heard good things."

Gonzalez, who batted .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI in San Diego last season, was acquired in a trade over a week ago. But it was general manager Theo Epstein's Winter Meetings' coup of signing Crawford that secured the offseason A.L. East space race for the Red Sox.

The welcomed additions came as a surprise to many on the team's roster, but that carries no odd flavor.

"We never know what's going on," Youkilis said, going as far as to share his response to the question he most-often hears: Did you have any input?

"I had no idea. They just told me where I'm playing -- I'm playing third base -- and I'm just getting ready for the season," he said. "We're happy that the moves were made."

His shift to third base is necessitated by the acquisition of Gonzalez, a career first baseman. Youkilis said a week ago he actually welcomes the move across the diamond to the position at which he started with the organization.

"It's not that big of a transition; I've played there my whole life," said Youkilis. "We take so many ground balls in Spring Training that you kind of get sick of ground balls, so it'll be good to work over at third base."

"I'll be ready by Opening Day," he added.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

Click here for the complete story on CSNChicago.com