Joe Bick, Youkilis' agent, told Adam Kilgore of the Boston Globe that he's had some "early-stage conversations" with the Red Sox but wasn't sure whether the team planned on offering a long-term deal this summer or waiting. Youkilis won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season, and Bick indicated that his client has no problem waiting until then before cashing in:
"Kevin is perfectly content to do it one year at a time," Bick said. "There's no urgency whatsoever. If we are presented with a multiyear deal, he's fine with it either way. We're all pretty confident that Kevin is going to remain an outstanding player. He is not the kind of guy that is going to be antsy if he has to do a one-year contract."You have to figure the Red Sox will lock him up before he tests the open market, but it's probably to everybody's advantage to wait one more year. Youkilis set career-highs across the board in 2008, making the jump from being just a solid player to a bona fide MVP candidate. If he repeats that performance in 2009, he can demand to be paid like a franchise cornerstone. But if he falls back to his previous level of performance, the Red Sox can sign him to a more modest extension.