BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 22: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 22, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
I've heard from multiple sources that Youkillis talks moving very fast today and #RedSox are still talking with #Pirates and couple others
#Pirates are VERY much in mix for Youkillis.
Youkilis makes $12 million this year, and he also has a $1 million buyout on his option next season. He's in the middle of a logjam with the Red Sox, with Will Middlebrooks emerging at third, Adrian Gonzalez at first and David Ortiz at designated hitter. After a poor start in the midst of his age 33 season, there's no reason to think he'd have much value on the trade market, particularly given his salary. Still, he was very good in 2006 through 2011 -- every one of those years -- so he'd be a good player for the Bucs to take a cheap gamble on. I assume he'd slot in at first base much of the time, with Garrett Jones frequently moving to the outfield against righties. Youkilis also could play either first or third against lefties.
I could definitely get behind this move, as long as it's a move in the Derrek Lee category: the Pirates should be willing to give up money, but not talent. We've seen the Pirates do this before, with Lee, Ryan Ludwick and A.J. Burnett. If the Pirates aren't going to give up any good minor-leaguers, then whether or not they're real contenders or "buyers" at this point isn't so important, because in either case, it's no crime to spend a bit of money to make your team better.