Potential Trade Partners for Kevin Youkilis: First Base

Chip doubles back to Monday's column, and examines potential first base partners for a potential Kevin Youkilis trade.

'Kevin  Youkilis' photo (c) 2008, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/On Monday, I examined teams that might be interested in trading for Kevin Youkilis as a third baseman.  Today, I’ll be examining teams that might be interested in acquiring Youk as a first baseman.

Cleveland Indians - After a hot start, the Cleveland Indians sit 2.5 games behind the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox.  Offensively, they’re pretty well positioned at the moment at every spot except left field and first base.  Youk won’t be playing LF anytime soon, but he certainly would be a massive upgrade over Casey Kotchman who is hitting a dreadful .209/.282/.307. 

Milwaukee Brewers - When the Brewers lost Prince Fielder to the Tigers via free agency, they knew they’d have a tough time replacing his production at first base.  Still, they had 26-year old Mat Gamel, a promising offensive prospect (albeit defensive liability), so all was seemingly not lost–and then Gamel tore his ACL 24 games into the season; leaving Travis Ishikawa as their starting first baseman.  While Ishikawa has performed better than expected in a small sample, he’s 28 years old with little track record of hitting at this level.  Only 6.5 games out in a wide-open National League, the Brewers would be smart to kick the tires on Youk in hopes of making a large offensive upgrade.

New York Mets - This pretty much sums it all up right here.  Ike Davis is hitting .160/.226/.274 after 190 plate appearances.  If the Mets want to stay in the thick of things in the very deep NL East, they’ll need to find a way to improve their production at first base.  Now, the only question that remains is:  Can they afford Youk?

Philadelphia Phillies – I know I mentioned the Phillies in Monday’s column, but the complications with Ryan Howard‘s Achilles injury make Youkilis a potential target for first base as well.  In fact, Howard’s situation is so potentially dire, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel indicated Chase Utley may play some first base if/when he returns from injury.  56 games into the season, their first basemen have produced a .268/.335/.416 line, which is roughly league average.  While that’s probably a little better than expected, I doubt the Ruben Amaro is enamoured with the idea of Ty Wiggington, John Mayberry, and Jim Thome splitting first base duties for too much longer.  Honestly, I see Utley as the more likely option, but they may opt for Youk if push comes to shove.

San Francisco Giants - While I have been one of the biggest proponents of the “Free Brandon Belt” movement, he’s performed poorly enough at the plate where even I think he may need to be benched.  Unfortunately for the Giants, Brett Pill and Aubrey Huff are their only options to replace him.  Yeah.  Dark days indeed.  Since Belt has a discernable major league talent (he gets on base), he continues to get the lion’s share of plate appearances.  Either way, the Giants need offense.  This is especially true in light of the Pablo Sandoval sexual assault case that is pending.  I’m not sure who Brian Sabean would trade to the Red Sox in exchange for Youk, but they desperately need to add another offensive piece to their roster.  Plus, Youk is nearly the perfect Sabean player:  30s, well played, and perpetually injured.  Now, if only Youk would stop drawing walks…

Categories: Aubrey Huff Boston Red Sox Brandon Belt Brett Pill Casey Kotchman Ike Davis Jim Thome John Mayberry Kevin Youkilis Mat Gamel Pablo Sandoval Prince Fielder Ryan Howard Travis Ishikawa

After being slapped with a restraining order for stealing Nick Cafardo's mail, I was forced into retirement for a brief period of time. As fun as it was to lounge around the community pool and play shuffleboard with noted internet columnist, Murray Chass, I quickly felt a yearning to write again. Now in my second tenure with Fire Brand, I have set lofty goals of achieving world domination, ending the plight of the hipsters, and becoming BFFs with Mike Trout. I am fluent in two languages (Sarcasm and English, in that order); have an intimate relationship with M&Ms; firmly believe that Lucille is the best character on Arrested Development; and spend my spare time trolling select members of the Boston media. You can follow me on Twitter @Chip_Buck.

3 Responses to “Potential Trade Partners for Kevin Youkilis: First Base” Subscribe

  1. Bruce June 7, 2012 at 10:02 AM #

    I posted the comment yesterday about Youk being better at first base so thanks for this follow-up article. I wonder what your opinion is on this thought – I was never in favor of the Adrian G trade. I thought AG was not that much of an upgrade at first over Youk (a gold glove and great hitter with high OBP). I know he is a little younger but Youk could play several yrs at first and we all knew he wouldn't last at 3rd. Why not hang onto Beltre for a couple of yrs until Middlebrooks was ready (or some variation of that) and use the package we gave AG to get a great pitcher. Seemed like Theo wanted AG and we went and got him. So now we have AG and Middlebrooks and are out a bunch of prospects when we could have had Youk and Middlebrooks and a great pitcher.

    • ChipBuck June 7, 2012 at 2:52 PM #

      I was all for the Gonzalez trade, but I certainly see your point. He wasn't a huge upgrade over Youk at the time, but he projected to be measurably better over the next 5-7 years. As for Beltre, he was a little lucky on balls in play during his time in Boston. There was reason to believe he'd regress. Also, Boras wasn't going to have Beltre sign for anything less than 5 years after the kind of season Beltre had. If the Red Sox had taken your plan, the Red Sox would have been in a position where they had a "ready" Middlebrooks (in 2013) and a starting third baseman with a big, untradeable contract. Middlebrooks likely would have been the one dealt in that situation.

      I definitely see your point, but I feel like the Red Sox made the right decision at the time.

  2. Walt in Maryland June 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM #

    Peter Gammons had an interesting take on the possible Youkilis trade talks yesterday on the MLB Network.

    He said the Sox will be looking for a "No. 3-starter type" in return,and that none of the teams they're currently talking with have such a pitcher to trade.

    Second, he said the Sox are concerned about their lineup's ability to hit LHP without Youkilis. They'd feel more comfortable dealing him after Ellsbury and-or Crawford return. Both of those guys are LHH, of course, butr that didn't seem to occur to Peter.

    We're seeing a little too much of McDonald and Byrd against lefties, and Nava isn't much of a hitter from the right side.

    I think Cody Ross' return will be very welcome as well.