According to Buster Olney of ESPN the Magazine, a trade involving long-time Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis is near. The Red Sox have been shopping the 33-year old for some time now with limited interest. Now, it seems the team in on the verge of completing a deal.
Olney says the Chicago White Sox are the current frontrunners and may be the team involved in this
impending trade. There have been numerous teams that scouted Youkilis, but most had luke-warm interest at best. The Red Sox did not seem willing to lower their demands. Perhaps that has changed.
Youkilis has found himself out of the starting lineup for back-to-back games. His decline in production has led the Sox to use Will Middlebrooks in Youkilis’ place. Youkilis is hitting .225/.311/.359 this season. If the year ended today, those would be his lowest career offensive totals.
Should the White Sox pull off a deal for Youkilis, it will be interesting to see what they are willing to give up. They are in the hunt for the postseason as it stands now, but things can change in a hurry with one wrong move. Giving up the wrong player or taking on the wrong player can sink a team. Chicago is 1.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians coming into play Saturday.
Any team that does trade for Youkilis will have him for at least this season, and will likely be on the hook for his remaining 2012 salary of $12 million. However, they will have a team option for 2013. If that option is exercised, Youkilis will make $13 million next season. If it’s not, whatever team he’s on at the time will have to pay a $1 million buy-out. The Red Sox may be willing to eat a chunk of Youkilis’ 2012 salary and even kick in the $1 million buy-out.
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