Former Red Sox All-Star infielder Kevin Youkilis last month agreed to a one-year deal to play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the defending Japan Series champions. Youkilis, who played only 28 games last season with the Yankees because of back problems, is the fifth Red Sox All-Star to wind up in Japan. The others:
Mike Greenwell, OF
All-Star with Red Sox: 1988-89
Played in Japan: Hanshin Tigers, 1997
At age 33, Greenwell’s stay in Japan was a short one. After missing much of spring training, he hit .231 in seven games before fracturing his left foot. He left without playing another game in Japan.
Scott Cooper, 3B
All-Star with Red Sox: 1993-94
Played in Japan: Seibu Lions, 1996
Still a young 28, Cooper batted only .243 with seven homers in 81 games. Returned to US and played for Royals in 1997 before retiring.
Reggie Smith, OF
All-Star with Red Sox: 1969, 1972
Played in Japan: Yomiuri Giants, 1983-84
Joined Giants at age 38 and had two productive if contentious seasons. Batted .285 with 28 homers and a 1.036 OPS in 1983. Tenure was marred by racial hostility from fans, battles with umpires, and an on-field brawl. Slowed by injury, he retired after 1984 season.
Mike Andrews, 2B
All-Star with Red Sox: 1969
Played in Japan: Kintetsu Buffaloes, 1975
At 31, he hit .231 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 123 games.