3:02 PM: There have been a lot of trade rumors in the last day about Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis possibly being on the move. A deal could come as soon as today, according to Buster Olney. The Pirates have been linked to Youkilis in the past, and Ken Rosenthal reports that they are still in the mix.
Earlier this week, Kevin Creagh did a trade value profile on Youkilis. Even with optimistic expectations for his production over the remainder of the season, the Red Sox would have to pick up a lot of salary to get anything in return. Under an optimistic expectation of a 1.2 WAR from now until the end of the year, the Red Sox would have to pay $5 M of the $8 M owed to the infielder just to get a C-level prospect. And if his value was closer to what we’ve seen from him this year, they’d have to pay all of his salary to get a marginal prospect in return.
Youkilis is currently hitting for a .225/.311/.359 line in 142 at-bats this season. His walk rate is down about 5% and his strikeout rate has been up. He saw a drop off in his power last season, and really struggled the final two months of the year with a .190/.304/.342 line in 79 at-bats over the final two months of the year. He dealt with a hip injury in August, and a back injury in September. He’s dealt with a back injury this year. The injuries could be the reason for the drop off, and it doesn’t seem like they’re a thing of the past, since he’s a month removed from his latest DL trip. He’s losing time in the Boston lineup thanks to the emergence of Will Middlebrooks, and the presence of Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox are also in the mix, although it is believed that Boston wants to move Youkilis to an NL team.