The Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers could be the teams most willing to pull the trigger on Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis this summer, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Beyond the Pirates and Dodgers, Youkilis has been tied to the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks.
After being activated from the disabled list in late May, Youkilis has seen much of his playing time at first base. This has been due to the emergence of top third base prospect, Will Middlebrooks.
Scouts have told Cafardo that Youkilis’ shift from third to first has been a plus for them, though the veteran still hasn’t performed well enough to wow anyone. Cafardo says both the Pirates and the Dodgers could benefit from someone with Youkilis’ plate discipline.
While third base was Youkilis’ primary position last season, the 33-year-old has started more games at first than any other position over his career. He also won a Gold Glove for his work at first base in 2007.
The Red Sox have recently been in a holding pattern with Youkilis, who has not fared well in the eyes of scouts. It’s gotten so bad that scouts have said the veteran infielder had no trade value as recently as Friday.
Still, many reporters, including Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, have said that the Red Sox need to trade Youkiliswith the emergence of Middlebrooks and the fact that their roster includes designated hitter David Ortiz, regular first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielders that are expected to be activated this summer, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford.