May 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (20) prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Rumors: Arizona Diamondbacks and Kevin Youkilis

Jon Heyman reported a handful of days ago that the Arizona Diamonbacks are interested in Boston Red Sox slugger Kevin Youkilis. Recently, a source told’s Jack Magruder that the Diamondbacks are a “long, long shot” to land Kevin Youkilis.

The 33-year-old is making $12 million this season, and Youk has a $13 million option next season with a $1 million buyout. The Diamondbacks signed Jason Kubel in the offseason and re-signed Joe Saunders, which brought their payroll to $75 million. The lack of payroll flexibility is a huge indicator that Arizona will likely not participate in trade talks with the Diamondbacks, even if they have interest.

You see, the Red Sox aren’t looking to simply trade Youkilis off to somewhere without something significant in return. If a team isn’t willing to take on his contract, then that team had better give Boston a great haul of prospects in return. Youkilis is on the trade block, but he’s a great hitter and isn’t leaving Beantown at a reduced price. This is especially true if a team doesn’t have the payroll to add him, because Boston does not want to pay for a portion of Youkilis’s contract in the event of a trade.

A source told Magruder that starting pitcher Joe Saunders is “unlikely” to be traded, and Saunders is viewed by some as a pitcher who could have been involved in a trade for Youkilis. To be honest, Saunders is a pretty poor pitcher, and it is doutbful that the Red Sox are looking for someone like Saunders. They would much rather have young talent or a more significant player in exchange. At this point, the Philadelphia Phillies Joe Blanton is a far better option.

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Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Boston Red Sox Jason Kubel Joe Blanton Joe Saunders Kevin Youkilis Philadelphia Phillies

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