Originally written on Dodgers Rumors  |  Last updated 11/16/14

I am going to go out on a limb here and saying that the Dodgers are the front-runners to land Kevin Youkilis this summer. That's not nearly as bold of a statement as you might think, don't believe me? The Dodgers have been connected to Youkilis since well before his name was the subject of trade rumors, because simply, the trade makes too much sense. James Loney and Juan Uribe are not carrying their share of the load and one of the holes needs an upgrade. Youkilis can play both positions, he's an above average defender at both positions, and he's got World Series experience. Ta-da!

Jon Heyman says that the Dodgers are one of the teams showing early interest in the veteran slugger. Yeah, yeah, we know that already. Talks are in the preliminary stage, but my guess is a trade happens well before the July deadline, as the emergence of Will Middlebrooks is problematic because there isn't a spot to give him regular playing time at the moment. You know because they got Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Adrian Gonzalez, wish the Dodgers had that problem, sheesh!

Red Sox officials are spreading whispers that they are looking for value, but they would accept less if a team will pay the $9MM remaining of Youkilis' $12MM salary. That deal also has a $13MM option with a $1MM buyout for 2013. This is the Dodgers opening, take on more salary, and keep the farm intact.

Pretty much half the league has interest in Youkilis so far, and justifiably so. The Dodgers, Phillies, and Diamondbacks are said to be having the most dialogue, but that the White Sox, Angels, Giants, Rangers, Brewers, Indians, and Reds are also possible destinations for the 33-year-old.

Assuming the Dodgers get more serious in trade talks, I imagine the Dodgers will use their small surplus of pitching prospects to pull off a deal. I also foresee the Dodgers taking on more salary, in efforts to keep restocking the farm. Trading Loney and Uribe seem like a long-shot at best at this point, but we can always hope. My guess is both are still here after the deadline and Uribe would transition to one of the most overpaid bench players in the league. It will be interesting to see if their is a trade market for Loney, and if there is, perhaps Rivera and Abreu could handle duties at first and the Dodgers could make another upgrade by acquiring a left fielder. The hot stove is definitely getting warm over in Dodgertown, more to come, as what may be the most interesting summers since 2008.

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