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Red Sox Trade Rumors: Boston Must Showcase Kevin Youkilis in Hopes of Deal

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 15:  Infielder Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox watches his team from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on June 15, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMay 17, 2012

The Boston Red Sox need to eventually trade Kevin Youkilis, but in order to do so they're going to have to prove to potential suitors that he is healthy.

In order to do that, they're going to have to showcase him.

It's one of the oldest tricks in the general manager book, and it's gotten many a smart organization some great value in return for a trade piece that may or may not be worth it.

Youkilis is currently on a rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket—this coming after he was put on the 15-day disabled list due to a lower-back strain. He's been a consummate team player for the Red Sox since 2004—having played his whole professional career with the team—and there is no doubting that he's been a huge part of the success they've had during his stretch with Boston.

He has a career batting average of .288 and has knocked an impressive 131 home runs and notched 559 RBI. When you think Red Sox you may not think Kevin Youkilis, but when you think Kevin Youkilis you definitely think about the Red Sox.

As much as he may mean to the team or fans, though, this organization needs to make the right move and capitalize on the opportunity to get some value.

ST. PETERSBURG - MAY 16:  Infielder Will Middlebrooks #64 of the Boston Red Sox fields a ground ball against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game at Tropicana Field on May 16, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Now, we wouldn't be having this conversation if not for the emergence of rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who has filled in more than admirably for Youkilis and is averaging .278 with four home runs and 14 RBI.

Middlebrooks is younger, has more potential for the future and frankly, he makes Youkilis expendable.

To make things even more intriguing, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that there may be a strong market for Youkilis, via Boston.com:

"Kevin Youkilis, 3B, Red Sox - If he can show he’s healthy, there’s a strong third base market out there for the Red Sox. According to a National League special assignment scout, 'The Giants are one of a few teams who are actively looking. They would love a guy with some power. The Phillies are looking, and even though the Rays say they aren’t, don’t be surprised if they try to pick someone up.'’’

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 18: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox at the plate against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

What Does All This Mean?

The Sox need to get Youkilis healthy and back up to the big leagues. Once he's back with the team, they need to put him out there and hope that he performs well, or at least well enough to be attractive to teams looking to make a deal.

If somebody comes calling looking for a strong, veteran bat, the Red Sox have just the piece they are looking for, and they know that Middlebrooks has what it takes to hold down the hot corner.

If the Red Sox can trade Youkilis and get back some young talent in return, they would be smart to start showcasing him as soon as possible.

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