Kevin Youkilis Could Be Playing for the Cincinnati Reds by 2013

Tyler DumaFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2012

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 2:  Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park on August 2, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

It's no secret that Scott Rolen is at the end of his career. He's 37 years old, returning from an injury and struggling at the plate so far in 2012. These factors lead me to believe that Rolen will retire at the end of this season.

Todd Frazier seems to be Rolen's successor but with left field up in the air, he could very well be in the outfield next season.

Should this be the case, the door is wide open for Cincinnati native Kevin Youkilis to become the Cincinnati Reds' starting third baseman in 2013.

Youkilis has a club option for 2013 built into his contract. However, with highly touted prospect Will Middlebrooks surging through the minor-league system, Youkilis' days as a member of the Red Sox are numbered.

In addition to the young talent behind him, Youkilis is now in in a bit of a tiff with new manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine inexplicably questioned Youkilis' commitment on Sunday. Youkilis and his teammates were none too pleased by Valentine's comments.

These are the types of things that drive a player out of a city.

Should Youkilis hit the open market, it's hardly out of the question to think that he'd like to join the Reds.

Youkilis grew up in Cincinnati, went to Sycamore High School, rooted for the Reds and even attended the University of Cincinnati.

Youk's roots run deep in Cincinnati and he's acknowledged, that should he not get the opportunity to finish his career with the Red Sox, he would welcome the opportunity to play for his hometown team.

If it wasn't Boston, I would want to play in Cincinnati just to say that I did it. I grew up rooting for them. I used to be bitter towards the Reds because they didn't draft me, but that bitterness is gone. It would be fun and it would be for my family. via ESPN

I for one would love the opportunity to root for Kevin Youkilis on a day to day basis. He's a scrappy player who does whatever it takes to get a win.

His 162-game averages should be enough to make any Reds fan welcome him with open arms. In his nine years, Youkilis' line is: .288/.389/.489, 23 HR, 97 RBI and 101 runs per 162 games.

All of this is complete speculation but it could happen. Youkilis has expressed interest in the Reds and his days with the Sox could be numbered.

The perfect storm for a return to Cincinnati in 2013.