MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox "Definitely" Going to Trade Kevin Youkilis

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJune 1, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 23:  Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox sits on the ground after being tagged out trying to score to end the third inning as pitcher Jake Arrieta #34 and catcher Luis Exposito #25 of the Baltimore Orioles walk off the fiedl at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 23, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After about a month of speculation, the Boston Red Sox finally confirmed what we've known all along, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler: They are going to trade Kevin Youkilis.

Red Sox are telling teams they definitely intend to trade Youkilis.

— DKnobler (@DKnobler) June 1, 2012


Things didn't get off to the best start this season for Youkilis. He was hitting poorly—.219/.292/.344 through the opening 20 games—and then missed a chunk of time with a back strain. His absence at third base left the door open for prospect Will Middlebrooks.

Middlebrooks, the future third baseman, flourished early and eventually made things difficult for general manager Ben Cherington and manager Bobby Valentine once Youkilis was healthy.

Over the last week or so, Valentine has been shuffling Youkilis, Middlebrooks and Adrian Gonzalez around the field, trying to get each as much playing time as possible. Boston needed to get Youkilis' trade value up in order to trade him, which we now know it will do.

Since coming off the disabled list, Youkilis has played both first and third base and has hit .313/.371/.531 with two home runs, three RBI and seven runs over nine games, thus increasing his trade value.

We've heard about a couple of teams that could be interested in acquiring Youkilis, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman:

youkilis (#youk) very likely available, says @DKnobler. hed help #dodgers, #chisox #dbacks, maybe #reds #phillies

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 1, 2012


Earlier in the month, we heard that the Cleveland Indians could also be interested since they'd scouted Youkilis during his rehab stint in Triple-A Pawtucket, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

It seems unlikely that Boston keeps Youkilis much longer, as he's really making things difficult for Valentine. Gonzalez is not an outfielder but has been playing in right field as of late so that Youkilis can get some time at first base, as it's hard to keep Middlebrooks out of the lineup at the same time.

Now that it's confirmed, it's only a matter of time before Kevin Youkilis is out of Boston.