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.
Eric Chavez, A-Rod’s backup for most of last season, joined Arizona last week. The Yankees considered several options as a stopgap at third, including Jeff Keppinger and Mark Reynolds, but both accepted deals with other teams.
Taveras to deals
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Royals have signed veteran pitchers George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler and veteran outfielder Willy Taveras to minor league contracts.
Sherrill is a former All-Star who is coming off Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. The 35-year-old is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career appearances for the Mariners, Orioles, Dodgers and Braves.
Wheeler, who turned 35 on Monday, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 career appearances for the Rays, Mets, Astros, Red Sox and Indians.
Both of the pitchers will attempt to win spots in the Royals’ stacked bullpen during spring training.
Taveras, who turns 31 later this month, is a career .274 hitter in seven seasons with the Astros, Rockies, Reds and Nationals.
Donald to Reds
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielder-outfielder Jason Donald to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Drew Stubbs.
The deal came Tuesday night. The Indians are working on other deals, including one that could include shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Choo, who has been Cleveland’s primary right fielder for the Indians since 2006, will likely play center and bat leadoff for Cincinnati.
Dealing Choo was almost a necessity for the Indians. He was entering the final year of his contract and is eligible for free agency in 2013. The Indians have not been able to work out a deal with agent Scott Boras, who has turned down several extensions in recent years.
The 30-year-old Choo batted .283 with 16 homers and 67 RBIs in 155 games last season. Donald hit .202 in 43 games.
Stubbs has played center exclusively for the Reds. He batted .213 with 14 homers and 40 RBIs, and struck out 166 times in 493 at-bats.
Blue Jays sign
3 pitchers, 2
infielders to minors
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitchers Claudio Vargas, Richard Thompson and Juan Perez and infielders Eugenio Velez and Luis Jimenez to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training.
Vargas spent last season with triple-A Nashville. He went 7-1 with a 3.69 earned-run average.
Thompson played for the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland in 2012, going 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA in three games.
Perez appeared in 10 games out of the bullpen for Milwaukee, finishing 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA.
Velez played for triple-A Memphis, hitting .280 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs in 136 games. Jimenez made his major-league debut for the Mariners last season, going 1 for 17 in seven games.
to 2-year deal
PHOENIX — Right-hander Brandon McCarthy and the Arizona Diamondbacks finalized their deal Tuesday on a $15.5 million, two-year contract.
Oakland’s opening day starter last season, McCarthy was hit in the right side of the head by a line drive off the bat of the Los Angeles Angels’ Erick Aybar on Sept. 5. The 29-year-old pitcher sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture, then underwent a two-hour surgery.
Last month, the 6-foot-7 McCarthy spent two days undergoing extensive evaluations by renowned concussion expert, Dr. Michael Collins, at the University of Pittsburgh. He was cleared by Collins to begin working out and resuming his regular offseason routine.
McCarthy was 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA last season, his sixth in the majors and second with Oakland. Overall, he is 37-39 with a 4.02 ERA in 153 games with the Chicago White Sox, Texas and Oakland.