The Boston Red Sox probably weren't trying to squeeze every last drop of trade value out of Kevin Youkilis when they kept playing him despite an awful slump. Manager Bobby Valentine was likely trying to put what he thought was the best team on the field. But it looks like he's thinking differently now:
Bobby V had a chat with Youkilis that he'll be sitting for a while and Middlebrooks will play.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) June 22, 2012
Middlebrooks was in something of a slump, dipping down to a .289/.328/.484 line after a ridiculously hot start. But he has six hits and two home runs over his last eight at-bats, which brought him up to .316/.352/.551. You have to love the volatility of small samples.
If a team was interested in a slightly dinged and slumping Youkilis, they probably aren't going to be scared away from a slightly dinged, slumping, and rusty Youkilis. And it's looking more and more inevitable that he's going to leave Boston soon.