The Boston Red Sox are more than motivated to trade oft injured 3B Kevin Youkilis, and they are inclined to do so sooner rather than later, according to multiple sources. Youkilis was benched for the third consecutive game, although he says he is healthy enough to play.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says he has spoken with Youkilis as to why he has decided to sit him out as of late, but the Boston hot-headed third baseman says nothing like that has happened.
The 33-year-old has not hit over .300 since the 2012 season, and has not appeared in more than 120 games since 2009. His power numbers have decreased every season dating back to when he hit a career high 29 home runs for the Sox back in 2008, and his body is betraying him at an alarming rate.
So, even though Boston is likely to move Youkilis within the next few weeks, and multiple teams remain engaged in trade talks, is trading for Youkilis worth the risk?
The Chicago White Sox feel the answer is yes, as they are rumored to be the most aggressive team in pursuit of the Greek God of Walks. The Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are also reported to have at least moderate interest in acquiring Youkilis.
But some teams have scouted Youkilis recently, only to decide that he is not the same player any longer, and that many people feel he never will be again. A few teams have decided against pursuing Youkilis, regardless of what price the Red Sox are asking in return.
It would at least appear as if Boston would have to absorb a good amount of Youk’s salary, and they also will not be in the position to ask for a package of top tier prospects. They would be lucky to land a mid-level prospect or two, and even that may be difficult at this point. Teams know that Boston is set at third base with Will Middlebrooks, and when Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury return in a month or so, they will have an abundance of bats.
Bottom line: Youkilis has to go, and other teams are aware of that fact. They will not overspend to acquire him.
Although, at this point in his career, is making a move at all overpaying for Youkilis?
It seems one team will be destined to find out the answer to that question.