Phillies Rumors: Prefer Will Middlebrooks Over Kevin Youkilis?

Jun 2, 2012; Toronto, ON, Canada; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (64) during their game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Philadelphia Phillies may be more interested in Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks than veteran slugger Kevin Youkilis, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo adds that while the Phillies may prefer Middlebrooks, it doesn’t appear the Red Sox would have interest trading the 23-year-old.

Ever since rumors of Youkilis’ availability began surfacing, the Phillies have been tied to the veteran corner infielder. However, a major league source told Cafardo that Philadelphia may be more interested in Middlebrooks.

Cafardo notes the Phillies desire to get younger, especially if they are looking past the 2012 season. Infielders Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins will be 33, 34 and 34 when next season begins, and 36-year-old third baseman Placido Polanco is in the final year of his deal with the Phillies.

Though the Phillies may be interested in such a trade, Cafardo doesn’t get the feeling the Red Sox would be interested in dealing Middlebrooks. On the season the rookie has hit at a clip of .302/.341/.517 with 13 extra-base hits and 22 RBIs.

Youkilis has improved his numbers since coming off the Red Sox disabled list, but he’s still only hitting .231/.314/.372 on the year.

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