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Indians rumors: Cleveland interested in Kevin Youkilis

Youkilis could fill a lot of needed holes for the Tribe.

Jonathan Daniel

After missing out on Kevin Youkilis to the rival White Sox at the trade deadline, the Cleveland Indians are showing interest in bringing the free agent third baseman to Cleveland this winter, reports Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer:

The Indians were interested in acquiring Kevin Youkilis before the July trading deadline this year. The Cincinnati native, instead, was traded to Chicago by Boston in a deal that helped the White Sox stay in the AL Central race until late in the season.

The story could have a different ending this off-season. It's believed the Indians are interested in signing Youkilis, 33, as a free agent. He fits three of their needs: he bats right-handed, plays first and third base and can DH.

If Youkilis were to come to Cleveland, the veteran would likely split most of his time between first base and designated hitter rather than third base. The Indians, at the moment, have their hot corner spot reserved for youngster Lonnie Chisenhall, who manned third base for the Tribe for the final month of the 2012 season.

It is unclear whether Youkilis would be content as a DH/1B, but the 33-year-old spent seven of his eight seasons in Boston with new Indians manager Terry Francona, so may be willing to give up third for the opportunity to play for his old manager again.

Youkilis did not have a great 2012 season, hitting .235/.336/.409 with nineteen home runs in one hundred twenty-two games, but did pick things up in the second half after an injury sidelined him at the beginning of the year.