A report by CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler says that the Red Sox intend to trade third baseman Kevin Youkilis.
Frankly, this is not very surprising. Youkilis is getting older and has had constant injury troubles in recent years. Even though he’s an elite hitter, he’s being pushed by prospect Will Middlebrooks who impressed the Sox enough filling in for Youkilis earlier in the year that he’s kept his spot on the roster and is in a rotation to get playing time. Youkilis has a club option for his services next year, which has to be appealing to other teams — they can get an impact hitter down the stretch and evaluate whether or not to pick up the club option. It’s a very low-risk deal for the remainder of the season and beyond, provided the acquiring team believes Youk can stay healthy the rest of the year.
It also helps matters that Youkilis can play first base, so don’t discount teams in need of a first baseman. Those that need a third baseman will likely be most desperate — teams like the Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Indians, Phillies and Reds have obvious fits, but so do the White Sox (who might be buyers at the deadline), Marlins, Pirates and Brewers.
Who could the Red Sox get? If they’re looking ahead to the future, trying to grab a strong shortstop prospect makes all sorts of sense. Looking at the 2012 roster, though, the team seems to really need a viable No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher the most. Past that, surprisingly, there aren’t that many weak spots on the team, unless you don’t think Mike Aviles can keep up his power production at short.
Here are your poll choices — vote on the right:
- Yes – IMMEDIATELY!
- Yes, but not until the deadline.
- Maybe, wait a bit and see who is offered.
- Yes, but not until after the season.
- No. How can you get rid of one of the team’s best hitters?
Here’s the result of the previous poll:
How do the Sox get Melancon back to the majors?
- Wait until the opportunity presents itself. (61%, 141 Votes)
- Who cares? Get Melancon up ASAP! (21%, 50 Votes)
- Get rid of Atchinson or Miller. They’re the most fungible. (11%, 26 Votes)
- Melancon needs more time in the minors. (7%, 16 Votes)