Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis has found his way into trade rumors following his slow start and injury and the emergence of top prospect Will Middlebrooks. While this has mostly been speculation, ESPN’s Buster Olney told WEEI.com yesterday that it appears the Red Sox are headed down a path of trading Youkilis. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies have been tied to Youkilis recently, and Olney speculates that the 33-year-old could potentially land with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox or Cincinnati Reds.
When asked about the possibility of the Red Sox dealing Youkilis this summer, Olney said that he’s talked with “a number of executives” that have said it “looks like it’s headed down that path”. Olney said that the Red Sox are going to want to keep Will Middlebrooks on the field, and that unless there is an injury to David Ortiz or Adrian Gonzalez, Boston is going to have to “figure out to do with Youkilis”.
Rival general managers have told Olney that Youkilis “is going to have to put about three productive and healthy weeks together in order for them to gauge his trade value”. Olney thinks that if Youkilis does prove healthy and productive once returning, the Red Sox could potentially receive “a little something in return”. Though Olney doesn’t expect compensation to be great, he does think the team can acquire a “Grade A-minus prospect” for Youkilis.
While the Red Sox could pursue talent for their future, they could also look to acquire a pitcher that could help them now. How Youkilis and the Red Sox perform once the veteran returns from the DL will decide if the club trades him and, if they do, what type of return they will receive.
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