Last week, we speculated that the Boston Red Sox could trade third baseman, Kevin Youkilis, once he returns from the Disabled List, because his replacement, Will Middlebrooks, has proven to be ready to play in the Majors.
Today, Buster Olney of ESPN (via Stephen Hewitt of WEEI.com) said that the team will actually “look at possible trade situations for Youkilis as he makes his return.”
“I've talked with a number of executives at other teams this week, because this looks like it's headed down that path,” Olney said. “Unless there's an injury to a David Ortiz or to an Adrian Gonzalez, eventually you're going to have a situation when the Red Sox, who are presumably going to want to find a way to keep Middlebrooks in the big leagues, they're going to have to figure out what to do with Youkilis.”
Olney added that other General Managers need to see about three “productive and healthy” weeks from Youkilis to gauge his trade value. “They think then, that's when you can get a little something in return,” Oleny added. “Not great, they're not going to get a Grade A prospect, they're probably not even going to get a Grade A-minus prospect because of the amount of money owed to him.
“But there’s clearly a lot of places where he could land. The Dodgers, I think are in an evaluation period now with their first baseman James Loney, because he’s gotten off to a terrible start. … I think the Chicago White Sox potentially are a fit for Youkilis as a third baseman, and potentially in his hometown of Cincinnati would be a great fit for him because they need a right-handed hitter who can play third base especially now that Scott Rolen's career might be over.”
Youkilis is projected to hit .255/.355/.443 with 16 HR's and a .349 wOBA (ZiPS Updated data), but he's still a good player that could interest any team in the majors looking for an offensive boost.
Middlebrooks, who is nine years younger than Youkilis, is projected to hit .256/.290/.446 with 17 HR's and a .321 wOBA.
Image by Keith Allison under the Creative Commons License Agreement.