WEEI FLASH: Reports: Kevin Youkilis signs a 1-year, $12M deal with the NY Yankees (pending physical)
Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Youkilis’
Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Felix Doubront, Fenway Park, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, Roy Johnson, Run batted in
LEFT TURN: The Sox are 18-10 (.643) when facing a left-handed starter this season, the 3rd-best mark in the Majors behind the Giants (18-9, .667) and Yankees (20-11, .645)…Boston is 2nd in the Majors with both a .463 SLG and 40 homers off lefties.
IN THE CLUTCH: Adrian Gonzalez leads the AL with a .391 AVG (36-for-92) with runners in scoring position, 2nd in the Majors behind only Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (.395)…Gonzalez has hit safely in 21 of his last 22 games with a .389 AVG (35-for-90) in that time, including a .500 clip (12-for-24) with 14 RBI with RISP.
FELIX THE STOPPER: Tonight’s starter Felix Doubront is 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA (13 ER/39.2 IP) in 7 starts this season following a Red Sox loss…Boston is 6-1 in those contests.
BACK AT IT: In his 1st 2 games of the season since coming off the DL on Monday, Carl Crawford is 4-for-7 (.571) with 4 runs, an RBI, walk and 3 stolen bases…He swiped all 3 bases last night, his 10th career game with 3 stolen bases and 1st since 7/27/10…He also had 3 hits last night, the 1st Red Sox left fielder to tally at least 3 hits and 3 stolen bases in a game since Roy Johnson on 5/21/34 at CWS.
- In 5 games since returning from the DL on Friday, Jacoby Ellsbury is 8-for-23 (.348) with 2 doubles, 2 runs and steal.
Tags: AL East, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, Chicago White Sox, David ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Fenway Park, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Pedro Ciriaco, Wild Card
BOSTON SPORTS DESK CORRESPONDENT
Sox aim to make run at playoffs!
Now that the second half of the season is started up and the Red Sox have won 3 out of their first 4 games, it’s time to make a serious run at a playoff spot. After yesterday’s 5-1 Win over the Chicago White Sox the Red Sox find themselves 9.5 games behind the division leading New York Yankees and currently sitting in 3rd place in the division.
However, the Sox are only 1 game out of a Wild-Card spot in a race that looks like it will go down to the wire. The Sox did not have a stellar first half but they weathered the storm and have kept themselves in the race for a playoff spot. As I mentioned a month ago the Sox were just waiting for the Calvary to arrive, and it has.
The Sox are glad to welcome back Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford to what is an already crowded outfield. In Ellsbury’s first series back he went (6-14) batting .429. Jacoby brings a combination of outfield speed and range with power and consistency at the plate. Last year while healthy he batted .321 with 32 home runs and 39 stolen bases (SB) while finishing 2nd in MVP voting. More importantly he is a table setter for the big bats behind him in the Sox lineup.
When Ellsbury is getting on, it makes Dustin Pedroia , Crawford, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and Jarred Saltalamachia even more dangerous because of their home run potential. The return of Crawford brings high expectations for the left fielder whose Boston career got off to a rough start last year. Crawford is excited to be back with the Sox and in his first game had a single, a walk, and scored 2 runs for the Sox. If nothing else hopefully the return of the two speedy outfielders will spark this team to make a run for the postseason.
Boston fans are still waiting for Pedroia to come back but have not had to worry because of the play of Pedro Ciriaco. Ciriaco is hitting .417 and even better known for his clutch performance against the rival Yankees in their 4 game series before the All-Star break. The future looks bright for the rising prospect that can play all around the infield. It also must be noted that Ortiz left yesterday’s game with an Achilles strain and is expected to miss a few games.
I believe the fate of the Sox season will be decided in the next month of baseball. This is a huge stretch for the Sox who can no longer afford to tread water but have to make gains on division and league opponents. It will come down to the consistency of starting pitching because it is clear that the Sox offense is one of the most potent in the American League as they lead all teams in runs scored with 450. More specifically the Red Sox cannot expect their 4th and 5th starters to carry the rotation through August. Aaron Cook and Felix Dubront have pitched extremely well but cannot be considered the Aces of a playoff rotation. Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, and Clay Buchholtz will be the deciding factors in the end.
I see the “Big 3” of Lester, Beckett, and Buchholtz to be poised for a run of consistent outings. Sox management has done its best to clean up the locker room as in getting rid of Kevin Youkilis in order for everyone to be comfortable. The time is now for this Sox team and if it isn’t wholesale changes may be made to this team.
Tags: American League East, Boston Red Sox, Carl Crawford, David ortiz, Joey Votto, Josh Beckett, Kevin Appier, Kevin Youkilis, Major League Baseball, Run batted in, Tampa Bay Rays, Walt Dropo
K’S IN BUNCHES: Sox hurlers have fanned at least 10 batters in each of their last 3 games, matching the club’s longest streak of the year (also 6/8-10)…The staff has tallied 9+ K’s in 6 straight games, leading the Majors with 59 punch outs since 7/6…It is the club’s longest such streak since a 6-game run from 4/29-5/4/09…Boston hurlers last tallied more than 6 straight games of 9 or more strikeouts with an 8-game run from 5/28-6/5/01.
HITS AND WALKS: David Ortiz is batting .429 (12-for-28) with a double, 2 homers, 4 RBI and 11 walks over a season-high 9-game hitting streak…He has hit safely in 15 of 16 games dating back to 6/25, batting .377 (20-for-53) with 4 homers and a Major League-leading 16 walks in that time…During the stretch his has a .514 on-base percentage.
- Ortiz has now walked in 8 straight games (11 total BB), matching the longest such streak by a Major Leaguer this season (4 others)…It is the longest streak of consecutive games drawing a walk by a Red Sox since Kevin Youkilis walked in 10 consecutive contests from 5/6-15/10…He leads the AL with 13 intentional walks, tied for the Major League lead with CIN’s Joey Votto.
CATCHING RAYS: Today’s starter Josh Beckett leads Major League qualifiers with a 2.46 ERA (33 ER/120.2 IP) against Tampa Bay since 2007 (min. 57.0 IP), a span of 18 starts against the Rays…He is undefeated in his last 9 starts against the club dating back to 5/10/09…Beckett is 4-0 with a 1.08 ERA (6 ER/50.0 IP), 37 K’s and just 4 walks over his last 7 starts against TB dating back to 9/12/09, holding the Rays to 2 earned runs or less while going at least 5.0 innings in all 7 starts…It is the 2nd-longest ever such streak by a starter against Tampa Bay behind Kevin Appier (8, 5/24/00-8/8/03).
THE FIRST 50: Last night, in his 50th Major League game, Will Middlebrooks homered for the 11th time this year, a 2-run shot to boost his RBI total to 39…Since 1918 the only other Red Sox to reach those HR and RBI marks in his 1st 50 Big League games was Walt Dropo in 1950 (14 HR, 57 RBI).
Tags: 400 Home runs, Boston Red Sox, David ortiz, Extra base hit, John Lackey, Kevin Youkilis, Oakland Athletics, Ortiz, Red Sox
BOSTON SPORTS DESK CORRESPONDENT
Give Papi what he wants!
This season has been a roller coaster ride for the Boston Red Sox that has featured clubhouse drama, the trade of Kevin Youkilis, devastating injuries, and inconsistent play.
However, the one reliable piece of the team has been the play of David Ortiz. Big Papi is batting .302 with 22 Home-runs and 55 RBI. On Wednesday, he hit his 400th career home run in a 3-2 loss against the Oakland Athletics. Ortiz is on pace for another 40 Home run season and is currently 1st in the AL with 46 Extra Base Hits (XBH) and 4th in Total Bases with 178.
Recent talk has not been about Papi’s play yet rather his contract situation. He is currently under a one year deal worth a little over 14 million and will be up for free agency at the end of the year.
On Wednesday, Papi expressed his feelings about prior contract negotiation with the Sox “It was humiliating, there’s no reason a guy like me should go through that. … And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.” Ortiz is referring his arbitration case that was avoided last year when the Red Sox agreed to give him a 1 year 14.5 million dollar deal.
Ortiz has expressed publicly that he is looking for a two-year contract to give him a little extra security. The Red Sox have been weary of Ortiz’s age and ability to stay productive over longer contracts. He is 36 years old but without a doubt the best Designated Hitter (DH) in the league.
Many analysts justify the Red Sox reasoning by arguing that a team should not pay their DH equivalent to two-way position players. I look at it as production is production and David Ortiz has been one of the most consistent players in the league at the plate over the past two years. I can’t even start to mention the importance that Ortiz has meant to the club throughout his tenure. He is famous for countless Home runs and coming up clutch in big games. If there is one guy I want up against Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th at Fenway in Game 7 of an American League Championship Series, it’s David Ortiz.
Not only has Ortiz been the face of the Red Sox on the field he has been just as visible off the field. When people think of the Boston Red Sox Big Papi is the first on their minds. It would be extremely difficult to see the Sox let him walk in free agency because of money difference. I totally agree with Ortiz’s point about the sox offering new players big deals to come play in Boston while they have been short-changing him.
Carl Crawford, John Lackey, and Adrian Gonzalez all got long lucrative contracts to come to Boston and so far the only one who has produced has been Gonzalez. It’s time for the Sox to reward their lone All-Star with some security.
Tags: Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, David ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Toronto Blue Jays, Will Middlebrooks, Youk
BOSTON SPORTS DESK CORRESPONDENT
I think it’s only fitting to write an article on the time that Kevin Youkilis spent with the Boston Red Sox. His 8 years with the team featured 3 All-Star appearances, 2 world championships and he was the recipient of the Hank Aaron Award for the best hitter in his league.
He had a career .287 batting average, to go along with .388 OBP and 133 HR with the Red Sox. Youk brought more to the team than just his stats though. He was a reliable third-basemen who played his heart out. There weren’t many games in Youk’s time with the Sox that he left the field and his uniform wasn’t dirty. Youk was the type of player to never quit on his team and play everything out until the end. Unfortunately Sox fans have seen the end of his career with the team as Youk changes his Sox and heads west to Chicago.
I remember it like yesterday when Youk went deep in just his 2nd career at bat vs. the Toronto Blue Jays on may 15th, 2004. I was sitting on my couch and once it happened I said “Wow this kid is going to be a stud”. That was just the start of many key moments Kevin Youkilis had with the Sox. It seemed like every series vs. the rival Yankee’s he was going at it with someone else and in the middle of controversy.
It is too bad to see Youk go out the way he did. I could never have imagined that Kevin Youkilis would be traded away for a below average utility player and a mediocre pitcher. His trade value is in no way equal to what he has meant to this team over the past 8 years. This was the result of Youkilis’s below average season and his unwillingness to get along with Bobby Valentine. It was clear though that Youk’s future was not with the Red Sox as Will Middlebrooks has continued to play well at third base. With Youk gone it leaves David Ortiz as the only player from the Red Sox 2004 World Series team.
It will be interesting to see how Sox fans react to the trade if Youk starts to heat up and Will Middlebrooks performance declines. Will Sox fans be quick to jump on management for trading away a cornerstone of the Sox success for the past 8 years? Or will the Fenway Faithful ride out the ups and downs associated with a young player? Either way I think that the Youk trade was necessary and will prove to be the right decision in the long run. The absence of Youk frees up some space in the outfield as it allows Adrian Gonzalez to go back to First-Base. It also shows Middlebrooks the confidence that Management has in his ability to be the Sox third basemen of the future.
I wish Kevin Youkilis the best in Chicago with the White Sox until they visit Fenway on July 16th for a 4 games series.
Tags: Boston Red Sox, Brent Lillibridge, Charlotte Knights, Chicago White Sox, Earned run average, Kevin Youkilis, McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket RedSox, Zach Stewart
JUNE 27th CHARLOTTE (45-35) at PAWTUCKET (45-34) 7:05 pm
Charlotte Knights LHP Charles Leesman (7-5, 2.16) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox RHP Zach Stewart (NR)
Right-hander Zach Stewart, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the kevin Youkilis trade, will make his first start in the red Sox organization tonight for the Paw Sox.
For the White Sox, Stewart was 1-2 in 18-games with a 6.00 ERA. The Red Sox are hoping that Stewart can provide some needed starting pitching insurance in the second half of the season.
|2008||21||CIN-min||A+,A||1||4||.200||1.09||24||0||21||0||0||5||33.0||26||7||4||0||14||2||36||2||0||0||136||1.212||7.1||0.0||3.8||9.8||2.57||SAR,DAY · FLOR,MIDW|
|2009||22||CIN-TOR-min||A+,AA,AAA||4||1||.800||1.89||34||14||7||1||0||2||105.0||105||34||22||3||32||0||93||2||0||4||439||1.305||9.0||0.3||2.7||8.0||2.91||SAR,CAR,LVG,LOU · FLOR,SOUL,PCL,IL|
|2010||23||TOR-min||AA||8||3||.727||3.63||26||26||0||0||0||0||136.1||131||59||55||13||54||0||106||5||2||5||575||1.357||8.6||0.9||3.6||7.0||1.96||MAN · EL|
|2011||24||TOR-CHW-min||AA,AAA||5||6||.455||4.20||17||17||0||1||0||0||100.2||116||52||47||6||27||0||79||1||1||3||431||1.421||10.4||0.5||2.4||7.1||2.93||MAN,CHR · EL,IL|
|162 Game Avg.||5||13||.273||5.92||49||19||14||2||2||0||154||207||111||101||33||35||3||96||3||3||3||682||73||1.572||12.1||1.9||2.0||5.6||2.77|
Turn the Beat Around – The Pawtucket Red Sox look to snap their 9-game losing streak (the third longest in club-history) when they play game two of their 4-game series against the Charlotte Knights tonight at 7:05 pm at McCoy Stadium (Live on the Ocean State Networks). The only two longer losing streaks Pawtucket has ever had were 10-games from August 12-20 of 2009 and the team-record 13-game losing streak back in 1985 (July 26 – August 6 of ’85). Pawtucket’s current 9-game skid has included a pair of pair of 4-game sweeps inSyracuse (June 18-21) and here vs.Louisville (June 22-25) along with an 8-0 defeat last night toCharlotte –Pawtucket’s worst loss by far of the entire season.
Back Nine – During this 9-game losing streak, PawSox pitchers are 0-9 with a 5.07 ERA (47 ER in 83.1 IP) while the Sox are hitting .234 (74-for-316) with 8 HR. As a result,Pawtucket’s Team ERA has gone from 3.49 on June 17 (their last win inBuffalo, 6-1) to a season-high 3.68 while the Team Batting Average has gone from .275 to .270 (lowest for the entire month of June). Pawtucket has been out-scored during the 9-game losing streak by a 51-27 margin.
We’ve Got Company – The PawSox tied their largest 1st-place lead of the season at 5-games over Lehigh Valley on June 17 after completing a sweep of a 4-game series in Buffalo. However, the Sox have not won since and now, for the first time in seven and a half weeks, find themselves no longer alone in 1st-place in the IL North. Pawtucket had been alone atop the division since May 5, but now they are in a virtual tie with the IronPigs who actually have a slim pct. point lead over the PawSox (.571 to .570).
Stop Right Now –Pawtucket’s current 9-game losing streak comes immediately on the heels of a 5-game winning streak (June 12-17). The PawSox have also lost 5 in a row at home for the first time since May 10-14 of last season. The last time they dropped 6 straight at McCoy came during a 7-game home losing streak from July 3-17 of the 2009 season. The two longest PawSox losing streaks of all-time were there 10-game losing streak in 2009 that included 2 in Charlotte (Aug. 12-13), 4 in Gwinnett (Aug. 14-17), and 4 at home vs.Rochester (Aug. 18-20)…the Sox were able to snap that streak with a win in the series finale vs.Rochester on Aug. 21 of 2009. Their club-record 13-game losing streak in 1985 came via 3 losses inRichmond (July 26-28), 2 in Tidewater (July 30), 2 vs.Maine (Aug. 1), 3 vs.Richmond (Aug. 2-4), and 3 more vs. Tidewater (Aug. 5-6).
Streaks All Over the Place – The PawSox 9-game losing streak is not the longest of any current streak in the International League although several teams had streaks of varying sorts snapped last night. Still many IL teams are presently riding streaks heading into play tonight. Gwinnett has an 11-game losing streak,Pawtucket has the 9-game skid, andBuffalo is on a 7-game losing streak. On the positive side, bothSyracuse andLouisville are riding 9-game winning streaks whileColumbus is on a 4-game winning streak.
This Series and Homestand – The PawSox had not lost a game by more than 5 runs all season long until last night’s 8-0 setback toCharlotte in the series-opener. They had not lost a home series – and had not lost more than 2 in a row at McCoy all season – untilLouisville just swept a 4-game set here over the wrap-around weekend. Pawtucket’s 8-game homestand (0-5 thus far) continues with three more games vs. the Knights tonight through Friday (all three remaining games at 7:05 pm).
What Have You Done for Me Lately –Pawtucket has lost 9 in a row but they are still 15-15 in their last 30 games since May 26. Despite their 5-game home losing streak, they have still won 15 of their last 27 home games dating back to May 9.
Tags: Boston, Boston Red Sox, Brent Lillibridge, Chicago White Sox, Daniel Nava, Fenway Park, Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, Will Middlebrooks, Zach Stewart
SOX LATELY: With yesterday’s 9-4 win over the Braves, the Red Sox have won 7 of their last 8 games…The Sox are 9-2 (.818) since 6/12, 2nd in baseball after TEX (10-2, .833)…At 38-34, the club is a season-high 4 games above .500.
- Boston has won 26 of its last 41 games (.634), tied for 2nd best in the Majors since 5/11…Following a 4-10 start to the season, Boston has gone 34-24 (.586) since 4/23, tied for the most wins in the Majors in that time (also LAA and NYY).
- The Red Sox have won 10 of their last 14 series dating back to 5/10…They have lost just 3 sets in that time and tied once…Boston has taken 4 straight series for the 1st time since winning 6 in a row from 7/1-24/11.
LILLIBRIDGE ACTIVE: The Red Sox today added INF/OF Brent Lillibridge to the active Major League roster…He was acquired yesterday with RHP Zach Stewart (assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket) from the White Sox for 3B Kevin Youkilis and cash considerations…To make room on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox designated LF Oscar Tejeda for assignment…Lillibridge will wear No. 23.
VS. THE JAYS: Tonight marks the 7th of 18 meetings between the Sox and Jays in 2012 with the clubs tied 3-3 thus far in the season set…This marks Toronto’s 1st trip to Boston this year and the club’s latest initial set in Boston since 1997 (7/10)…Boston went 6-3 at home against Toronto last year, outscoring the Jays 65-36 in those contests…Boston has taken their last 4 home season series agianst the Jays since 2008, the Sox longest ever streak.
WILLY THE KID: Will Middlebrooks, who has reached safely in 21 of his last 21 games since 5/23, is batting .326 (47-for-144) with 10 doubles, 9 homers and 34 RBI in 41 Major League games since his 5/2 call-up…In that time he ranks 3rd in the AL in AVG, 6th in SLG and tied for 10th in RBI…Overall he leads ML rookies in RBI and tops AL rookies in HR.
NAVA-GATION SYSTEM: Daniel Nava is batting .415 (22-for-53) in 17 June games, tops in the AL in the month and 2nd in the Majors behind CIN’s Joey Votto (.434) (min. 50 PA)…Nava leads the AL with a .452 OBP since his 5/10 selection to Boston…His .969 OPS ranks 2nd among AL outfielders in that time behind TOR’s Jose Bautista (1.061).
Tags: Boston, Boston Red Sox, Daniel Nava, Elias Sports Bureau, Fenway Park, Kevin Youkilis, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Middlebrooks, Run batted in, Will Middlebrooks
WILL MIDDLEBROOKS OF THE BOSTON RED SOX NAMED THE AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Boston Red Sox rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 24th.
Middlebrooks batted .625 (10-for-16) with three doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and six runs scored in six games. Among A.L. leaders, the 23-year-old finished tops in batting average, slugging percentage (1.375), on-base percentage (.632) and total bases (22), tied for second in doubles and extra-base hits (6) and tied for fourth in hits and homers.
In an Interleague matchup with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday, the rookie from Greenville, Texas singled, scored a run and provided the Red Sox with an insurance run with an RBI-double in the sixth inning in Boston’s 7-5 win. After launching a two-run homer in his only plate appearance off the bench in a 15-5 Boston victory on Wednesday, Middlebrooks provided plenty of heroics on Thursday with a two-run blast to spark a three-run eighth inning as Boston stormed back to defeat Miami, 6-5, for their fifth straight win overall. Middlebrooks finished 3-for-4 on the night, which included a pair of run-scoring singles earlier in the contest.
Thursday’s three-game sweep at home gave Boston their first sweep of that length or more at Fenway since July 22-24, 2011. On Saturday, Boston’s fifth-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Liberty-Eylau High School in Texarkana, Texas went 3-for-4 with a single, double, home run and two RBI for his fourth three-hit game of the season as the Red Sox doubled up the Atlanta Braves, 8-4. After finishing a triple shy of the cycle, Middlebrooks boosted his season average to .331 with nine homers and 33 RBI and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, became just the fifth player since 1920 (when Baseball began tracking RBI as an official statistic) – and the first since Albert Pujols in 2001 – to reach those minimums in his first 40 career games. Since making his Major League debut on May 2nd, Middlebrooks is batting .326 (47-for-144) with 10 doubles, nine home runs, 34 RBI and 23 runs scored in 41 games. He leads all A.L. rookies in homers and RBI, and he is third in the league in hits, runs and doubles.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Middlebrooks’ Red Sox teammate Daniel Nava (.500, 11 H, 3 2B); New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (.286, 4 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R); Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout (.440, 11 H, 8 R, 5 SB); and Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson (CG, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K vs. CIN on June 20th).
Tags: Bobby Valentine, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Nava, Fenway Park, Josh Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, Sox, Will Middlebrooks
BY A.J. NICHOLSBOSTON SPORTS DESK INTERNTension in the Sox clubhouse?
The Boston Red Sox have had a season of ups and downs so far this year. The team is currently 33-33 and 5th in the American League Eastern Division. It has not been all ugly to this point and there have been a few bright spots on the squad. The play of Will Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava, Mike Aviles, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and the Sox bullpen has been a pleasant surprise.
However, these few glimpses of hope have been overshadowed by the disappointing play of veteran players and a .500 record. All the pressure and expectations that come with playing for a franchise like the Boston Red Sox can create a tension in the locker room and clubhouse. Individual and team performances are magnified in Boston to an extreme not seen with many other teams.
It seems that these pressures and expectations have combined with the personalities of players such as Kevin Youkilis, and Josh Beckett to create the perfect storm for Manager Bobby Valentine to deal with. ESPN Senior Writer Buster Olney reports from inside the Sox locker room that there are many critics of the way things are being handled throughout the organization. Olney explained that “”I don’t think team chemistry is going to be one of the strengths as they go down the stretch”. Clearly the Sox locker room is not a happy place right now and I believe a few Sox veterans are to blame for it.
First, Youkilis is 33 years old and dealing with injuries while only batting .215 this year. Youk was very comfortable with Terry Francona last season and has not had a working relationship with Bobby Valentine.
He is not happy with splitting playing time at Third-base with Middlebrooks and his frustration is not helping his play when he is in the lineup. It is time for the Sox to part ways with Youkilis. There is no longer a need for him with the young talent behind him. There lies the problem. Youk’s age, mixed with injuries and his play as of late has left the Sox with a veteran who not many teams are willing to take on his pricey contract.
Up until today talks had been quiet, but ESPN reports that the Sox have lowered expectations and this has the ball rolling with dealing Youk. If the Red Sox are going to trade Youkilis they will have to pay some of the remaining money on his contract to make him a more favorable option to teams with smaller salary caps. Teams that offer for Youk have the potential to gain a veteran Third-Basemen who when he is playing well, is at the top of the league in On Base Percentage (OBP). They also have the potential to gain an aging Third-Baseman with a bad attitude and declining potential. It will be interesting to see when and where Youk is dealt.
Now don’t get me wrong, the clubhouse drama and collapse is not all to be placed on Youkilis. The Sox have a number of other personalities who collide with team members and Valentine. Josh Beckett came into the year as the Sox number two starter in the rotation and was expected to be effective. That has not been the case rather he has had a fallout with Valentine and is now on the DL. Beckett’s “I don’t care what you think” approach is a bad influence on the clubhouse because it gives the younger players the wrong image on how to conduct yourself at work. His attitude has surely rubbed off on the pitching staff and just last week Clay Bucholtz told Valentine that he would not move his scheduled start day up in order to make up for the missing Beckett. Right now there is a defiant culture in the Sox clubhouse and Valentine does not have many options.
The only things working for Valentine are the success of his younger players and veterans such as Adrian Gonzalez and Big Papi who have been team players with positive attitude. Gonzalez is a Gold Glove Fist-Basemen who has played in Right Field for some time this year to accommodate for Youkilis.
Team management needs to make some decisions and do away with the negative attitudes and personalities in the clubhouse if Valentine is going to have a chance in taking the locker room back over. Rebuilding is not an option in Boston, so I am anxious to see what moves the Sox will make leading up to the trade deadline.