Kevin Youkilis' name has been thrown around in trade rumors all winter long. With David Ortiz accepting salary arbitration, the role of designated hitter for the 2012 Red Sox team has been filled, leaving just one place on the roster for Youkilis to play: third base.
While it is believed that injuries have hampered his play at third base, his bat is not a liability. Youkilis is a solid baseball player. Having said that, he still has been injured a significant portion of time over the past two seasons.
Of the regular opening day starters, only JD Drew has played in fewer games than Youkilis in the past two years. The difference is not as drastic as you would think.
Drew played in 220 games in 2010 and 2011. Youkilis played in 222. While the fact that Youkilis is a superior player with a more reasonable salary and genuinely is liked by the fanbase may be the reason why he has not been criticized locally for that fact, on the national scale, this will make trading him harder than most realize.
While the idea of trading Youkilis for starting pitching has been floated, I think that the Red Sox should examine teams that are in need of a first baseman or are looking to shed salary rather than pitching, if they plan to entertain the idea of trading Youkilis at all.
Here is a list of five potential landing spots for Youkilis and why they would work.