A trade of Boston Red Sox corner infielder Kevin Youkilis appears inevitable, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, but there doesn’t appear to be a resolution in sight. So far this season, the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks have been tied to Youkilis.
With the presence of primary first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and potential returns of injured outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, it will be harder for the Red Sox to keep Youkilis in their everyday lineup.
Rosenthal believes a Youkilis trade could backfire on the Red Sox if Gonzalez experiences an injury or rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks falters. Rosenthal also notes that Youkilis is a player with diminished value(.686 OPS), though he’s still owed at least another $8 million this season and has a $1 million buyout for 2013.
One rival executive told Rosenthal that there’s no chance the Red Sox receive prospects in exchange for Youkilis unless they pay the majority of his salary. Rosenthal says a trade for a pitcher with a comparable contract could work, though contenders interested in Youkilis will likely be reluctant to part with pitching.
Rosenthal believes Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington may have to get creative in order to get the desired return; either looking into a three-team trade or packaging Youkilis with prospects.