BOSTON, MA: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox tosses his helmet after flying out during the eighth inning of their 4-2 loss to the Washington Nationals in interleague play at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
The Red Sox have not found anyone willing to pay their price for Kevin Youkilis, but by the sounds of Ken Rosenthal's latest from Monday night, it seems as if Boston is willing to stop holding out and start playing nice in negotiations. Because of this, the trade talks are "intensifying," and Rosenthal feels that the "last days of Kevin Youkilis in a Boston Red Sox uniform may be approaching."
Trade dialogue surrounding the beleaguered Boston third baseman has intensified in the last 24 to 48 hours, major-league sources told FOXSports.com. The Red Sox have made clear that (a) Youkilis is available and (b) they are willing to include cash to facilitate a better player return. In response, a number of clubs have indicated that they have interest in acquiring the three-time All-Star.
Boston was reportedly waiting for other teams to get desperate, but with Youkilis mired in the midst of a slump, it seems as if the plan now is to relent and add cash in order to get something of value back for their third baseman, instead of playing him every day for the next month-plus while Will Middlebrooks sits on the bench or in Pawtucket. The more money the Red Sox chip in, the larger the list of trade destinations will become, as low-revenue teams (or those up against their budget) will be more willing to talk.
Rosenthal also mentions that teams believe a change of scenery will "rejuvenate" the third baseman, given he supposedly doesn't get along with his new manager -- Bobby Valentine has almost publicly preferred Middlebrooks from the get-go -- and there's concern all of the trade rumors are affecting his play. Just one more reason for Boston to move things along and move him once a worthwhile deal is in place.