It’s been a while now since the Red Sox made it known that they would look to trade their long-time third baseman. Since then, it seems interest has risen, peaked, and fallen off a cliff. Teams that were once interested have dropped out of the hunt – or at least fallen into the shadows. Boston has asked for returns that other teams in the league simply don’t feel are an accurate reflection of Kevin Youkilis‘ true talent. But it may be more than that.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, scouts have been hammering Youkilis and likely scaring off potential buyers. Those interested in Youkilis – teams like the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers, and the Phillies – may have lost interest based on scouting reports.
Heyman went on to quote some of the scouts, including one that said, “For what he costs, he can’t do anything”
Youkilis is making $12 million this season. He has a $13 million team option with a $1 million buyout. He’s expensive, flat out. The Red Sox may have to eat a chunk of his contract and agree to pay the buy out fee if they are going to pull off a trade at this point. That is, unless Youkilis goes on an incredible hot streak from now until the trade deadline.
He is currently hitting .212/.295/.341. Forget about the batting average for a second and focus on the on-base percentage. Youkilis is famous for getting on base. His nickname is “The Greek God of Walks.” Yet, this season he has walked just 12 times and has an OBP almost 100 points lower than his career average. That’s not going to get it done on the trade market.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks Youkilis is better than his number show, but so far scouts don’t seem to agree. Cafardo says:
Sometimes you can look like garbage and have swings that look like you don’t belong in the majors. But when your swings are good and the ball is meeting the barrel of the bat and the results aren’t there . . .
Unfortunately, solid contact and good swings don’t explain the low walk totals and low OBP. The Sox may struggle in dealing Youkilis this summer.