Kevin Youkilis wanted to avoid travel and play for a West Coast MLB team, so it was a surprise to see him agree to terms with Rakuten in Japan. WEEI.com's Alex Speier writes that the Indians, Yankees and Rays were interested in Youkilis, but that Youkilis preferred retiring to flying all the way to the eastern part of the US. When the opportunity to play in Japan arose, however, Youkilis' wife and seven-year-old daughter were excited about the chance to there for a year. Youkilis says he plans to spend a year there, then decide whether he wants to continue...

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