Kevin Youkilis has had his name floated in all kinds of trade rumors this young season due to his health and slow start and the emergence of top prospect Will Middlebrooks, who just happens to play third base. Despite the rumors, Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has said that he “doesn’t see” Youkilis being traded. So far this season, the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians have been among the teams tied to Youkilis.
Valentine was on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show yesterday and told them he doesn’t expect the Red Sox to trade Youkilis. Valentine said that Youkilis is currently “making up for a lot of deficiencies” for the Red Sox “that have presented themselves at other positions”. For this reason, Valentine doesn’t foresee the Red Sox shipping Youkilis out of Boston.
The deficiencies Valentine alluded to most certainly have to do with Boston’s ridiculously long injury list of outfielders. Cody Ross hit the Red Sox disabled list this week, joining fellow outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Darnell McDonald, Jason Repko and Ryan Kalish.
These injuries have caused the Red Sox to turn to players such as Scott Podsednik, Daniel Nava and Che-Hsuan Lin in the outfield. It has also resulted in regular first baseman Adrian Gonzalez switching gloves and manning right field for the Red Sox.
Gonzalez’s shift off first has allowed the Red Sox to keep both Youkilis and Middlebrooks in their regular lineup. While Middlebrooks has maintained the hot corner, Youkilis has taken over for Gonzalez at first.
For the time being, it doesn’t look like the Red Sox can afford to trade away a bat such as Youkilis. However, after some of their depleted outfield returns from the DL and Gonzalez shifts back to first base, it won’t be as easy for Valentine and the Red Sox to juggle a roster containing both Middlebrooks and Youkilis.
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