The Kevin Youkilis trade discussion has been a hot topic in major league baseball all season. Youkilis and new manager Bobby Valentine have butted heads since the precocious and outspoken skipper joined the Sox. He threw the veteran corner infielder under the bus in the first month of the season, questioning his dedication and whether or not he was mentally into the game. Youkilis and Valentine had another little contretemps this weekend, with each party communicating some passive-aggressive thoughts on Youk’s playing time through the press.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington initially denied reports that Youkilis was on the trading block, but the situation continues to escalate and playing time continues to dwindle — so he’s being shopped around. The Indians have always been in the discussion as a potential trade partner, with the lineup still searching for that right-handed bat. But reports indicate that their AL Central rival, the Chicago White Sox, are ahead of everyone in the trade talks while the Indians remain a longshot. From Ken Rosenthal and John Morosi:
The Indians, Dodgers and Pirates were among the other clubs that showed interest in Youkilis, who has been benched for rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks the last three games.
However, sources said late Saturday that the Indians were a “longshot,” the Dodgers’ recent talks with the Red Sox had been minimal and the Pirates had pulled out of the discussions.