Shaughnessy: Not sure Sox will trade Youk

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Shaughnessy: Not sure Sox will trade Youk

The Red Sox have a young third baseman who's been hot since the day he came up to the Majors. So why do they need to hold on to Kevin Youkilis.

Not so fast says Dan Shaughnessy.

It's likely the Red Sox could get some decent pitching prospects for an established, versatile player like Youkilis. Some of those prospects could eventually pay big dividends for the Red Sox, making a trade an appealing option. But what does it say about the 2012 Red Sox if they choose to go that route? If the Sox trade Youkilis, it would appear to send the message that they're "sellers" and are giving up on this season.

At only 3 games back, that's a difficult message to send to a fan base that saw its team collapse last season amid clubhouse turmoil, and then clean house, kicking out a beloved manager and allowing the general manager who ended "The Curse" to leave for the Cubs.

"It has a look of giving up on this year," says Shaughnessy. "I don't think they're prepared to do that and it's hard to sell it as anything but that."

It's important to keep in mind that Middlebrooks is still a rookie and most rookies hit a wall at some point. If he hits that wall in September, with the Red Sox in a tight race for a playoff spot, the loss of Youkilis' bat would loom large and look like a terrible decision. Ditto for a tight playoff race in which every run is tough to come by. An established veteran like Youkilis not only makes the lineup more imposing, but he adds invaluable experience.

So do the Sox look long term and trade Youkilis, hoping that Middlebrooks can play at a level beyond his "rookie" label, and in the process secure a valuable prospect or two? Or do they hold tight to Youk with an eye on the playoffs? We'll find out sooner rather than later.

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Red Sox avoid arbitration with Bogaerts, Holt with 1-year deals

Facing a 1 p.m. Friday deadline to avoid arbitration, the Red Sox reportedly agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with center field Jackie Bradley Jr., and also avoided hearings with six other players.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, utilityman Brock Holt, pitchers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross Jr., Tyler Thornburgh and catcher Sandy Leon also agreed to one-year deals.

Terms of the deals were not announced.

It leaves left-handers Fernando Abad and Drew Pomeranz as the only arbitration-eligible Red Sox without a deal.  

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Report: Bradley Jr. avoids arbitration, agrees to 1-year, $3.6M deal with Red Sox

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal with the team, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Bradley, who turns 27 April 19, had his best season in 2016, hitting .267 with 26 homers and a league-best 29-game hitting streak. He also won his first Gold Glove. A Scott Boras client, Bradley isn’t eligible for free agency until 2020. 
 
Friday at 1 p.m. was the deadline to reach deals to avoid arbitration. 

Other arbitration-eligible Red Sox are infielders Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt, left-handers Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad, right-handers Joe Kelly, Robbie Ross and Tyler Thornburg and catcher Sandy Leon.