Jackie MacMullan wrote a fantastic column detailing the chemistry issues that plagued the 2011 Red Sox. She cited the public whining about the schedule, the lack of a DH in interleague play and injuries. She also called out Kevin Youkilis:
Ellsbury is a 2007 alum and an MVP candidate, a magnificent player with the brightest future of them all. His teammates like and admire him, but he keeps to himself, confides only in Jed Lowrie.
Can you blame him? His teammate two or three lockers to his left continued, as recently as two months ago, to publicly question Ellsbury's decision to retreat to Arizona last summer for treatment for broken ribs. Kevin Youkilis has always been a hot button. On occasion, his intensity and his honesty were his biggest assets, but not this season. The injured Youkilis showed up every day the way he wanted Ellsbury to, but he turned so sour and cynical that his carping and insistence on inserting himself into other people's affairs turned him into a detriment.
I love Youk for his dirt-dog antics, but he is one of the biggest whiners on the team. Add in the fact that he bitches about other players... and now I'm starting to think he needs to go.
He's 32-years-old and not exactly Mr. Fitness. He's missed 100+ games over the past two seasons. Can we really expect his body to hold up at 3rd base? Or maybe the Sox have plans to slide him into the DH position.
Youk will be entering the final year of a 4-year, $40 million deal signed in 2009. Another team might see him as an affordable right-handed bat with a solid glove.
It's hard to predict what the Sox would want in return, because we don't know if ownership wants to blow up the team. I'm curious what Red Sox Nation thinks of moving Youk.