But how do you immediately restore Youkilis to the lineup if Middlebrooks, who tied a big league record with nine RBIs in his first four games, is still swinging a hot bat?
Here are the options facing the Sox:
1. Send Middlebrooks back to Triple-A.
2. Move Middlebrooks to the outfield, a position he has never played as a pro.
3. Trade Youkilis, even if it means eating a significant portion of his $12 million contract.
...In conversations with four veteran major league talent evaluators Tuesday, all were high on Middlebrooks (“I think he can be a helluva player,” said one) and all said they believed there would be a strong market for Youkilis. “With that extra wild-card,”’ one said, “there will be a lot more places to move him.” Only one thought that the Sox should send Middlebrooks back to the minors, at least long enough for Youkilis to prove to potential trading partners that he is healthy.
“A lot of clubs could use him,” another evaluator said. “Put him in a small ballpark, and he might go off. I’ll tell you one thing—[Dan] Duquette would trade for him.”
...“That’s a tough one,” said another executive. “Middlebrooks is giving this team the kind of jump-start it needs. And Youkilis, I don’t think he’d mind being traded, and there will be a heckuva market out there. But people want to see that he’s healthy and not going the way of Mike Lowell. That’s the key to the whole thing.”
Posted: May 09, 2012 at 09:17 AM | 58 comment(s)
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