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Youk, Sox stall on long-term deal

Youk, Sox stall on long-term deal

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BOSTON -- The Red Sox have discussed signing Kevin Youkilis to a long-term contract. But it doesn't appear that the two parties will reach an agreement before the start of the 2009 season.

"We've had some initial conversations" toward a long-term contract, Youkilis' agent, Joe Bick, told The Boston Globe. "It doesn't look promising."

Youkilis, who isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season, will now have his salary determined via arbitration or if the two sides agree beforehand on a one-year contract. He signed a one-year, $3 million contract before the start of last season.

"We're going to concentrate our efforts from this point forward on getting a one-year deal done, whether it's negotiated or otherwise," Bick told The Globe. "That's where we stand going forward."

According to this report, Youkilis has accepted an invitation to play for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The 29-year-old corner infielder established career highs in batting average (.312), homers (29) and RBIs (115) in 2008. The production earned him a third-place finish in balloting for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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