Youk loves New York.
And according to a New Yorker who knows Kevin Youkilis as well as almost anyone, New York is going to love Youk back. That is, if the two wind up forming a professional alliance.
Edward Youkilis, who owns Edward's, a popular Tribeca bistro that Kevin Youkilis frequents whenever he is in town, told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday that the love affair between his nephew and New York City goes back a lot further than the recent talks to get Youkilis to the Bronx as a replacement for the injured Alex Rodriguez.
"Even when he was with the Red Sox, he always said he would love to play here someday," Edward Youkilis said. "He said it would be an experience like no other."
According to Joe Bick, Kevin Youkilis' agent, the 33-year-old is "seriously considering" an offer from the Yankees that Bick and his client consider "very legitimate," reportedly an offer for one year at $12 million.
Bick and Youkilis also are said to be considering at least one other offer, possibly from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"From what I've heard, it sounds good for us," Edward Youkilis said.
Earlier Monday, Edward Youkilis had spoken to his brother Mike, Kevin's father, who told him there was no news yet on the biggest story in the Youkilis family, the possibility that a once-hated member of the Boston Red Sox might become a member of the Yankees in 2013.
"I was hoping you were going to give me some good news," Edward Youkilis said. "It would be a very exciting thing for all of us if he comes to New York."
Edward's Restaurant, on West Broadway, is like a shrine to Kevin Youkilis, with Youk's Hot Sauce and a red wine named after him and bobbleheads and photos of him on display. Whenever the Red Sox were in town, Youkilis would bring a group of teammates to the bistro and according to his uncle, often spoke about his desire to someday play in New York.
Even as recently as last season, Youkilis had expressed an interest in playing for the Yankees. "He told me he was excited when he went to the White Sox (in a trade last June) because he wanted to be away from all the drama in Boston," Edward Youkilis said. "But then I think he kind of missed it. He told me he'd love to come here."
"We're looking at all our options right now," Bick said. "When the time comes, we'll make a decision."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. But a source with knowledge of the talks said that while an offer was on the table to Youkilis, Cashman had yet to receive a reply.
Asked why his client would accept a one-year deal with the Yankees rather than a longer deal with another team, Bick cited Youkilis' ability to play other positions besides third base.
"There are considerations involved," Bick said. "I think the Yankees' obvious issue is A-Rod's injury, but Kevin's a versatile guy."
Youkilis played 111 games at third base and 26 games at first last season for the Red Sox and White Sox. He also conceivably could serve as a fill-in for Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who missed 39 games with injuries in 2012, and as a right-handed designated hitter in place of Andruw Jones, a free agent who is not expected to return.
As for concerns that Yankees fans might not accept a player who was not only a former Red Sox member, but a particularly hated one, Edward Youkilis dismissed them.
"He doesn't seem to think so, and from what I've heard here, neither do I," he said. "I haven't heard anything negative about it. The only question seems to be, will Joba be all right with it?"
Considering that Derek Jeter was able to bury the hatchet with Roger Clemens, odds are that the "feud" between Joba Chamberlain and Youkilis -- stemming from the times the pitcher threw over Youkilis' head -- would evaporate the moment Youkilis became a Yankee.
No imminent decision on the Yankees' offer is expected -- Bick said he and Youkilis were still "exploring all our options" and would make a decision "when the time is right."
But Edward Youkilis said he would look for a sign during Monday night's game between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Youkilis is scheduled to attend and sit in quarterback Tom Brady's private box.
"I'm sure at some point during the game they'll show a shot of him," he said. "Wouldn't it be great if he was wearing a Yankees cap?"