Olney On WEEI: Red Sox On Path To Trading Kevin Youkilis

BOSTON - APRIL 04: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox hits a 2 RBI triple in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2010 during Opening Night at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Appearing on WEEI's Mut & Merloni Wednesday afternoon, Buster Olney indicated that the Red Sox were "headed down that path" to trading Kevin Youkilis.

Between Youkilis' slow start and Will Middlebrooks explosive debut, there has been no shortage of conversation over the former's future with the club. Despite being a three-time All-Star with the Sox, Youkilis has begun to have difficulties with injuries, and has been miserable at the plate in his first 18 games this season.

While Will Middlebrooks started his season with a bang, going 9-for-22 in his first five games with three homers, he has cooled off some of late, with only six hits to show for his last 28 at bats. Still, his exciting potential compared to the waning production of Kevin Youkilis has given fans a reason to be excited and to want him to stay with the team regardless of Youkilis' health.

Even should the Sox want to trade Youkilis, however, Olney indicated that Kevin Youkilis will have to prove himself healthy for at least a few weeks before the Sox can expect anything in a trade:

"They think then, that's when you can get a little something in return," Olney said. "Not great, they're not going to get a Grade A prospect, they're probably not even going to get a Grade A-minus prospect because of the amount of money owed to him.

To me, that's an interesting quote. First off because it suggests that the Sox won't have to chip in much in the way of salary, and second because it raises the possibility that if they were to do so, they could pick upa Grade A(ish) prospect.

Youkilis will be starting a rehab assignment today with the Pawtucket Red Sox, but it's not clear how long it will take for him to return to the team at full strength. If the Sox do choose to send Will Middlebrooks down to Pawtucket, however, this seems to indicate that there is every possibility that it will be a very short stay.

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