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Olney: the Red Sox are “headed down that path” to trade Kevin Youkilis

May 16, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis bats against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

Buster Olney was on WEEI radio this afternoon and, based on his conversations with some anonymous executives, he thinks the Red Sox and Kevin Youkilis will part ways this summer:

“I’ve talked with a number of executives at other teams this week, because this looks like it’s headed down that path.” … Olney said that other general managers have told him that Youkilis is going to have to put about three productive and healthy weeks together in order for them to gauge his trade value.

Obviously Will Middlebrooks’ nice place since his callup is goosing this along.  I’ve not been paying too close attention to how Middlebrooks is perceived locally, but I get the sense that there’s some college football backup quarterback stuff going on there, where he’s seen as a savior while the old guy is taken for granted.

My question: if the Sox do start seriously shopping Youkilis, do the press and fans perceive it as a white flag waving on the 2012 season, or do they view it as making way for Middlebrooks?

  1. El Bravo - May 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Are the Red Sox going to turn sellers already?

    • sabatimus - May 16, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      You’re not serious are you? Youkilis has a career of being hurt all the time, even if it has been a great career so far. Youkilis is not the future of the Sox at third base. Middlebrooks is.

      • El Bravo - May 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        I am serious. I think they should hold him as long as they believe they’re still playoff contenders. Youk is like Berkman that way, injured frequently, but way too valuable to let go and is worth the risk.

  2. willsolo - May 16, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    I wonder if Olney actually talks to these executives, or if he just has some imaginary tea party where he thinks he is talking to these executives and makes up shit as he goes along.

    • Mike Luna - May 16, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      His “sources” are a box full of sock puppets that he keeps in the back of his closet. Anytime he needs to confirm one of his crazy theories he goes back to the ol’ box of sox.

      • skeleteeth - May 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        “Sure Uncle Wiggley, Pujols for Howard straight up it is!”

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM

        “Heard this: Pedro Gomez is a ‘source of mine.”

  3. manifunk - May 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    This was set in motion waaaay back at the beginning of the season when Bobby V called out Youk for not playing hard enough. I don’t think this would be seen as throwing in the towel more than kicking an oft-injured bum out for the new hotness

    • 18thstreet - May 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      When healthy, the “oft-injured” bum is clearly useful to someone. Taking 2010 through 2012, his 8 wins above replacement makes him 8th among first basemen — and that obviously punishes him for lost games.

      A trade to the Nationals, assuming Mike Morse isn’t coming back, makes a ton of sense to me. He can play first mostly, and occasionally give Zimmerman a day off at third.

      • wlschneider09 - May 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        Um, no.

      • hep3 - May 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        Adam Laroche is hitting .325 with a .975 OPS; must be time to dump him for the Greek God of Walks.

    • tideofunc - May 16, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      some would argue w/you on who the bum really is, funk, and it’s certainly not youk.

  4. rollinghighwayblues - May 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Personally, I see it as the former. Might as well try to get something in return for Youkilis before he (assumingly) walks this offseason.

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Dammit! The latter.

      • Old Gator - May 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        Never walk under a latter.

  5. aceshigh11 - May 16, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I love the guy, but he’s a broken-down old man who’s not fit to play third base daily anymore.

    In addition, he clearly grates on a lot of nerves in the clubhouse. The toxic atmosphere around this club can only be cleared up by jettisoning the deadweight, and Youkilis is as good a place to start as any.

    • dowhatifeellike - May 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      I’d take him on the Orioles if he weren’t a turd in the clubhouse. I’d rather have a passable young guy than a grumpy old man.

      • Old Gator - May 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM

        He’s not only broken down and old, but he’s ugly. Shirley Chisholm was ugly, but she wasn’t broken down. They could have held on to her. Rondo Haddon was ugly, but it wasn’t his fault, and he was terrific as the Hoxton Creeper. They could have held on to him. Jan Brewer is ugly – coyote ugly, inside and out, requiring an extra bag – but she markets well to the brain-dead, so they could hold on to her. Lyle Lovett…well…never mind….

      • proudlycanadian - May 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Lyle Lovett? At least Julia Roberts once thought that he was OK.

      • bozosforall - May 16, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        Leave it up to Old Gaytor to focus on a man’s looks.

      • Old Gator - May 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM

        Shirley Chisholm? Jan Brewer?

        Well, maybe you have a point with Jan Brewer – with that complexion, she might be Imhotep in drag….

    • 18thstreet - May 16, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      I don’t think any of us know how the clubhouse feels about him.

      • aceshigh11 - May 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

        There have been an awful lot of stories about him butting heads with current and ex players.

        Don’t get me wrong: I like how he plays the game. I wish everyone on the team played as hard as he did, but if he brings his frustrations into the clubhouse constantly, it’s just not going to work, not with THIS team as currently constituted.

  6. shaggylocks - May 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    Middlebrooks is definitely the new hotness in Boston.

  7. astrosfan75956 - May 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    The latter!

  8. rockthered1286 - May 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    My intial thought was “Baltimore could use him.”

    Then I thought about it and realized, there’s really nobody I’d be willing to part ways with to bring in Youk, and furthermore, I’m not sure how much better he would be defensively or offensively at first than a platoon of Reynolds, Davis and Nicky Johnson (yes, I do foresee the O’s being buyers and picking up a starting, 3B, to which I’d be okay parting ways with Reynolds and a prospect).

    • tideofunc - May 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      youk will prove to be the antithesis of pujols for whichever team is fortunate enough to pick him up. he probably detests the present situation more than bosox team mates and staff.

  9. bigmikemdz - May 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Youk will catch on someplace, the guy gets on base. But Middlebrooks is coming up and the Red Sox fans love him.

  10. giselleisasucubus - May 16, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    “I’ve not been paying too close attention to how Middlebrooks is perceived locally, but I get the sense that there’s some college football backup quarterback stuff going on there, where he’s seen as a savior while the old guy is taken for granted.”

    He looks about 10 times better than Youk, right now. Youk had his day, and he will start to hit again, but as a fielder, he is near the end because he can’t stay healthy. Look at the guy. Not exactly athletic. Middlebrooks is a big kid, good arm, he can field,hit, and he looks completely relaxed out there. The Red Sox have proven that they draft position players and groom them well( Youk, Pedroia, Ellsbury), so it really isn’t a surprise that this kid is stealing Youk’s job. Also, Youk is in the final year of his deal. Do you re-sign him? Hell no. Unless he is going to DH, which would mean bye-bye Papi, and too be perfectly honest, that doesnt look like the right move, at least not now. This will clear 10 mil to use on Ellsbury or a free agent, hopefully a top line starter. I hope they move him, asap, and continue to reshape this team. They are still loaded. If they can get a piece back to help this year, I wouldnt count them out. Don’t forget, the Sox were .500 when they traded Nomar in ’04. Sometimes you have to move on. This is one of those times.

    • petey1999 - May 16, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      Seriously, thanks for the good times Youk, but it’s time for him to move to the next phase of his career. He’s on the record as wanting to play in Cincinnati, his hometown, and Rolen is hurt right now, so…let’s make it happen.

      • roadwearyaaron - May 16, 2012 at 6:23 PM

        Replace an aging, oft-injured 3rd baseman with an aging, oft-injured 3rd baseman? No thanks.

  11. richb22 - May 16, 2012 at 5:09 PM

    Maybe the Angels could trade some of their young players like Trout and Bourjous for another guy in the twilight of his career.

  12. Joe - May 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    Definitely the latter. Youk’s body wants him to play first base, and that spot is taken. I don’t think Middlebrooks is a .300 hitter, but accounting for the glove, he’s the better player right now regardless.

  13. crispybasil - May 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Middlebrooks has looked good at times – four homers and five doubles in 53 plate appearances will do that. But he’s also struck out 15 times and walked just three times. I certainly don’t mind having a healthy (key word) Youk in the lineup and sending Middlebrooks back to AAA to try and cut that K/BB ratio down.

    • petey1999 - May 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Middlebrooks will only get better and Youk will only break down again (and again). Let’s cut to the chase.

  14. dalemite - May 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Hope the Brewers go after him at a major discounted rate. He’d be an upgrade over whatever we’re rolling out there at 1B this year. He would slot in well, push Ishikawa back to bench duty, and maybe Youk will enjoy a resurgance in the NL. Potentially trade Frankie Rodriguez for him straight up if we’re in the mix for division/wild card as that guy is scary these days. For what the Brewers are paying him, we can get that out of any of our other pen mates and maybe he pitches better for the Sox in the closers role.

  15. evanhartford - May 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I don’t get the logic. The Red Sox are effectively “selling low” and “buying high” in this situation.

    The smart move would be to shop Middlebrooks for some young pitching. He might be off to a great start, but that probably has as much to do with pitchers not knowing his weaknesses yet, as it has to do with his overall effectiveness.

  16. JustMeMike - May 16, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Maybe Philly will deal for Youk.
    I think they have already been sniffing around and would want to see him stay healthy for a bit before pulling the trigger on a deal.

    What does that also tell us – that the Phillies are pretty worried about Utley. He hasn’t even set foot on the field yet.

    Put Youk at 3B, move Polly to 2b where he played with Tigers – send Freddy Galvis away – and when Howard returns they’ve lengthened their lineup.

    I also think the Sox won;t be that fussy at what they get back – Domonic Brown is a possibility – only he’s flunked both time the Phillies tried him – and with their awful lineup this year – they’re still not using him.

    Sox get him Brown , and he’ll pass through their hands – only thing about that is that the Sox already are overstocked with OFs.

    So I think Buster’s comments make sense – The Sox will use the old ‘addition by subtraction’ method. Which is also known as dumping salary.

    On the other hand maybe the Phillies will be dumping salary too -

  17. xpensivewinos - May 16, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Middlebrooks is the future and that future is now.

    Time for Youkilis to go. Hopefully, they can get a useful player for him.

  18. Jack Marshall - May 16, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Why in heaven’s name would anyone interpret shopping Youk as “throwing in the towel” on 2012? Has Craig looked at the East? You can throw a hanky over all five teams. The Red Sox are still a good bet to make the play-offs, and they know it: the problem is that they have two good players who play the same position, and logjams in the bullpen and elsewhere. It makes sense to reallocate the talent, if possible, that’s all.

    But the Youk-bashing here is ridiculous. He’s far from done, and still a solid middle-of-the-line-up presence who gets on base, with power.

  19. astrosfan75956 - May 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Trade his arse.

  20. dawglb - May 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Phillies!

  21. nolasoxfan2012 - May 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    He would make sooooooo much sense in LA. Assuming he’s healthy, would you rather have Youkilis or Loney playing first for the Dodgers?

  22. angrycorgi - May 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    They are gonna have to give him away for free…who the heck wants a worn out player with a bad attitude?

    • Panda Claus - May 16, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      Billy Beane has been infatuated with Youkilis for years. I think he’d be one guy taking Cherington’s phone calls.

    • Panda Claus - May 16, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Come to think about it, isn’t Youkilis going by “Kevin Brady” now since he just married Tom’s sister?

  23. budha425 - May 16, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Marlins will give them Matt Dominguez and Chris Coghlin

    • Old Gator - May 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM

      Macondo Banana Massacre Field already has Tommy. How much uglier do you want to make it?

      • nolanwiffle - May 17, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        I’m your Uncle Ernie
        And I welcome you to Tommy’s holiday camp
        The camp with the difference
        Nevermind the weather
        When you come to Tommy’s
        The holiday’s forever

  24. papacrick - May 16, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    All I think about when I hear his name is that time a 20 year old Rick Porcello absolutely body slammed his old butt after he tried to be hard a charge the mound. On another note, he’s gotta be the weirdest lookin dude in MLB.

  25. shaggylocks - May 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Wouldn’t it be funny if Billy Beane finally landed Youk after all these years?

    • Old Gator - May 17, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      He probably has a better chance of landing Nancy Pelosi.

      Gear up.

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