The Chicago White Sox appear to be the favorite in negotiations to land Boston Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates are also making a strong push to land him.
CBS Sports' Scott Miller reports that a "handful of clubs" continue to be interested and in negotiations with the Red Sox, including the Pirates and Dodgers. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Rob Biertempfel reported on Twitter that the Pirates also remain a player in the negotiations.
I've heard from multiple sources that Youkillis talks moving very fast today and#RedSox are still talking with #Pirates and couple others
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) June 23, 2012
Youkilis sat on the bench for the second day in a row on Friday, as he continues to be less and less in the Red Sox's plans and the urgency to deal him picks up. The 23-year-old Will Middlebrooks has emerged as the team's primary option at third base, as he is batting .319 with a .916 OPS in 39 games. While battling injuries for much of the year, Youkilis is batting only .225 with a .670 OPS.
Miller reported that the Red Sox will have to take on almost all of the money owed to Youkilis for the rest of the contract, in order to get rid of him.
Meanwhile, Youkilis is already being asked about his best memories with the Red Sox, The Boston Globe's Peter Abraham reports:
Youkilis when asked about his memories with #RedSox: "I'm still here. I'm not dead." — Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 23, 2012