This isn't surprising if you've been paying attention to the rise of Will Middlebrooks or the is-he-or-isn't-he-healthy Kevin Youkilis saga, but Danny Knobler of CBS Sports dropped an interesting note on Twitter today regardless:
Red Sox are telling teams they definitely intend to trade Youkilis.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) June 1, 2012
So, Boston is actively telling teams that they still plan to trade Kevin Youkilis in order to open up a full-time spot for Will Middlebrooks in the lineup. This isn't a total surprise: yes, the current setup where Adrian Gonzalez, Will Middlebrooks, and Kevin Youkilis all get to play makes sense right now, but once outfielders start to come back healthy -- Ryan Kalish could be back in June, while Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, and Cody Ross are all expected to return in July -- it's going to be difficult to fit all of these bats in the lineup at once. Plus, there's the matter of Youk's health: will he stay on the field all season, or is this simply the time in between injuries?
All those bats are a good problem to have, and one Boston is letting everyone else know they intend to solve. Youkilis has hit .313/.373/.513 since his return from the disabled list, so now's as good a time as any to draw attention to him.
[Update 2:05 pm] Not so fast, says general manager Ben Cherington:
"That's inaccurate," Cherington e-mailed WEEI.com Friday afternoon. "Some teams have checked in on him. We haven't told any teams we plan to trade him. It's our job to listen if teams have interest. He's swinging the bat well since coming off the DL and [is] a big part of our team and lineup."
Maintaining a level of mystery, or actually just doing their due diligence?