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January 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM

Kevin Youkilis agrees to four-year extension

Just before the deadline for players to file for arbitration, the Red Sox have agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension with All-Star first baseman Kevin Youkilis, this according to ESPN's Peter Gammons. The deal will pay Youkilis more than $40 million, includes an option for a fifth year, and will buy out Youkilis' two remaining arbitration years, as well as his first two years of free agency. The 2008 Hank Aaron Award winner as the American League's best hitter, Youkilis put up impressive .312/.390/.569 numbers last season, including 43 doubles, 29 home runs, and 115 RBI in 538 at bats. He then added a .292/.346/.500 line with 2 home runs in the playoffs against the Angels and Rays.

The former University of Cincinnati standout was originally selected by the Red Sox in the eighth round (243rd overall) of the 2001 Draft, making his major league debut with Boston in 2004. Offensively, he owns career .289/.385/.472 numbers with 66 home runs and 314 RBI in 553 career games. While he played mostly third base in the minors, Youkilis was moved to first base by the Red Sox to start the 2006 season. He has since proven to be a defensive wizard at the position, taking home the American League Gold Glove at first base in 2007, and making countless spectacular plays in the field. Youkilis also holds baseball's all-time record for most consecutive errorless games at first base.

The Red Sox have now agreed to contract extensions with both of last year's All Star infielders, having signed Dustin Pedroia to a six-year, $40.5 million deal in December.