Trade rumors have swirled surrounding the Boston infielder, and now FOXSports.com is reporting that trade talks for Youkilis have "intensified." According to the report, talks have heated up in the last couple of days, with a handful of teams interested in acquiring Youkilis.
"He’s being shopped everywhere," a high-ranking official with a National League club told FOXSports.com.
The Red Sox have reportedly made it known that Youkilis is indeed available, and they've also reportedly indicated that they would be willing to include cash in order to get a better player in return.
The Diamondbacks, White Sox, Dodgers, Indians and Pirates are all reportedly interested in acquiring Youkilis, while his hometown team, the Reds, are unlikely to be interested, according to the FOXSports.com report.
If the rumors are true, it would indicate a change of plan for the Red Sox front office. General manager Ben Cherington shot down any talks of shopping Youkilis last week.
"The reality is there's nothing going on," Cherington said on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan on June 14. "We've talked to teams about several things. Yeah, teams have called to check in on Youk. That was a while back, right before he went out on his rehab assignment [in mid-May]."
Since returning from the disabled list in late May, .211 with two home runs and four RBIs. Usually an on-base machine, Youkilis' on-base percentage is uncharacteristically low, at just .301 for the season.
Youkilis has become expendable in the eyes of many because of that dip in production, as well as the emergence of Will Middlebrooks at third base.
In theory, dealing Youkilis would also likely allow Adrian Gonzalez to make a permanent move back to his normal position at first base. The Gold Glove first baseman has been playing some right field in order to ensure playing time for himself, Youkilis and Middlebrooks.