His numbers while healthy have not been great, just a .219 AVG (14-64), with 2 2B, 2 HR and 9 RBI, to this point. Much has been speclated about his relationship with manager Bobby Valentine after Bobby V criticized him earlier in the season. Many have been on the recent success top 3B prospect Will Middlebrooks has had since subbing for the injured Youkilis.
Before mentioning the best fits for Youk, he is owned a total of $12 million for the entire 2012 season. Afterwards, the Red Sox have a $13 million option for the 2013 season which includes a $1 million buyout.
6. Philadelphia Phillies: It will have a lot to do with how much longer they expect 1B Ryan Howard to be out. Placido Polanco has struggled, so playing time should be there even when Howard returns. Though this could be a move that energizes the team, GM Ruben Amaro has discussed selling off players if the season is truly lost.
5. Cleveland Indians: The Indians have struggled for offense while they are getting good pitching. The success of their pitching staff last season kept them in the race for the balance of the season. They do need to explore some options to improve the middle of the order, especially with newcomer Johnny Damon off to a rough start. Youkilis could start over 3B Jack Hanrahan or 1B Casey Kotchman; an improvement over both offensively.
4. St Louis Cardinals: This is of course pending the results of the tests on 1B Lance Berkman's knee. Listening to Berkman, it seems like its a serious injury which will keep him out for a while. The thought of playing strictly 1B may be apealing to Youkilis, though he has not been horrible defensively at 3B. The Cardinals expect to win the NL Central, so it makes sense to make a trade like this. Plus they have some extra funds with the money they did not pay to Albert Pujols.
3. Milwaukee Brewers: Not a bad destination, but the question has to be: Are the Brewers a contender? If they consider themselves a contender, they should be interested in making a deal like this, with Mat Gamel out for the season. They need some more presense in the middle of the order. Once again, Youkilis would be playing 1B. Miller Park may not be Fenway, but it may be appealing for Youkilis to finish out the last year of his contract.
2. Miami Marlins: The Marlins have optioned 1B Gaby Sanchez to AAA, hoping to get him back on track. Remember, the Marlins were interested in 1B Albert Pujols, so they were interested in upgrading the position even before Sanchez has struggled to start the season. He does bring with him leadership, which could go a long way in Miami. If he is traded, the Marlins would be the best fit.
1. Boston Red Sox: I think it would be best if Youkilis stayed in Boston. As long as the Bobby V situation with him is as overblown as I think it is. The problem with Youkilis is that he cannot stay on the field for any length of time. He has produced the last several years while he has been healthy. My choice would be to see him spend the rest of the season in Boston. It is his walk year, assuming Boston does not pick up his option. Therefore, I expect him to make a case for somebody to sign him to a respectable free agent contract. He will play well when he returns.