BOSTON, MA - JUNE 5: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after flying out against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park June 5, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to have limited interest in Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, reports Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona. A source told Magruder that Youkilis to the Diamondbacks is a "long, long shot". Beyond the Diamondbacks, Youkilis has been tied to the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians this season.
The source told Magruder that the Diamondbacks have not spoken with the Red Sox regarding Youkilis. It was also noted that Arizona would have to shed salary from their already-stretched 2012 budget to make any deal work.
Youkilis, who’s hitting .236/.315/.382 on the season, is earning $12 million this year and his contract includes a $13 million team option for 2013 with a $1 million buyout.
Arizona third basemen have combined to hit at a clip of .221/.287/.347 this season. While Youkilis has struggled as well, he did post an OPS of .903 over nine May contests after being activated from the disabled list and owns a career OPS of .877.
If the Diamondbacks do decide to pursue Youkilis, Magruder believes 30-year-old left-hander Joe Saunders would be involved. Saunders is making $6 million this year and is set to become a free agent following the season. On the year, Saunders has posted an ERA and WHIP of 3.65 and 1.348 with 5.7 SO/9 and 2.2 BB/9.
Magruder thinks Saunders would be the most likely candidate to be moved in a Youkilis deal because of his pending free agency and the Diamondbacks quality minor league pitching. Still, the source Magruder spoke with said it’s "unlikely" that the Diamondbacks look to trade Saunders.