Kevin Youkilis Not Concerned About His Status During Contract Year, Expresses Desire to Retire With Red Sox

Kevin Youkilis Not Concerned About His Status During Contract Year, Expresses Desire to Retire With Red SoxFORT MYERS, Fla. –– The 2012 season marks Kevin Youkilis' contract year.

The Red Sox hold a $13 million option on Youkilis for the 2013 season, but by Opening Day this season, the third baseman will be 33 years old. For the past two seasons, the three-time All-Star has been hampered by a laundry list of injuries that have shortened his years.

With highly-touted prospect Will Middlebrooks waiting in the wings at third base, the challenges are stacked against Youkilis. Even with the obstacles, the veteran said he doesn't feel additional pressure to perform.

"I already hit the jackpot in monetary terms," Youkilis said on Monday. "I live a different kind of lifestyle where I'm not flashy. Money is not why I play this game. I play this game because I love the game and I love competing. That's why I play baseball.

"More friends and family are like 'Hey man, you need to get this big deal –– three years and so' and I can't worry about that because once you start worrying about money and contracts, that's when you have outside things in your head and you're getting up and facing Felix Hernandez and it's going to be a tough day anyway. You can't be worrying about your contract."

As one of the last remaining links from the 2004 World Series team, Youkilis appreciates his longevity in Boston. He reiterated his desire to further –– and eventually –– finish his distinguished career with the Red Sox.

To preserve that legacy, Youkilis has set his sights on adding another World Series trophy to the team's collection.

"I know if I'm out there starting everyday and we win a World Series, there's a good chance I might come back," Youkilis said. "That's my whole goal. If we win a World Series, it'll be hard for them not to bring me back. I want to make them as hard on them as possible."

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