As incomprehensible as it may seem, the Red Sox apparently have Kevin Youkilis on the block, according to one major league source.
This source vehemently contends that the Red Sox would “love to dump Youk” and suggests such a move could be part of a deal sending Adrian Gonzalez to Boston.
Although such a move might be necessary logistically were the Red Sox to acquire an Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, or Miguel Cabrera, this writer questions the idea that the Red Sox would “love” to trade Youkilis.
Entering the second year of a club-friendly, four-year deal, Youkilis is scheduled to receive $9.125 million for his far more valuable services.
In 2009 the “Greek God of Walks” slugged 27 homers and posted a .305 average and .961 OPS. Youkilis complemented those numbers with defensive play that actually surpassed his 2007 Gold Glove-winning performance.
The 31-year-old Youkilis should not be a trade candidate, particularly since his current contract climaxes with an affordable $13 million club option for 2013.
Consider that this two-time All Star ranked fourth among major league first basemen in 2009 in terms of overall sabermetric value.
While he didn’t come close to Albert Pujols’ obscene $38.2 million, Youkilis managed to produce a value of $25.5 million in an injury-shortened 2009.
Putting that number in perspective, understand that Fielder ranked second with $30.5 million, Gonzalez took third with $28.6 million, and Cabrera trailed Youkilis with $24.6 million.
Youkilis’ performance outstripped those of the Cubs’ Derrek Lee, the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira, the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, and the Twins’ Justin Morneau, to name just some of the more brand-name competition he faces.
Certainly the San Diego Padres would find little value in exchanging Gonzalez for Youkilis, since they would be sacrificing a franchise-caliber star for an older, albeit productive, player whose contract isn’t exactly inexpensive for a smaller-market team.
If there is any serious truth to this particular trade rumor, it might suggest that the Red Sox are seeking a third team to help them acquire the much-desired Gonzalez.
If not in a potential three-team deal, why else would Theo Epstein have Youkilis on the block?
Youkilis’ agent declined to comment for this article.