In one respect, Kevin Youkilis hit free agency at the wrong time: He had a .745 OPS during the 2012 season, the lowest mark of his career.
Then again, he’s entering the market at a time when a number of general managers are unsatisfied with their production at one corner infield position or another. And Youkilis’ improved play following the trade from Boston to Chicago — a respectable .771 OPS in 80 games with the White Sox — supports the notion that he mostly needed a change of scenery, away from Bobby Valentine.
The Indians, Phillies and Dodgers are looking to upgrade their production at third base and have shown preliminary interest in Youkilis, according to major-league sources. The Mariners and Marlins — the majors’ two worst teams this year in first-base production — have checked in on Youkilis, as well.
The White Sox continue to have interest in bringing Youkilis back, as there are questions about Brent Morel at third base and Paul Konerko may need more days off at first base as time goes on.
Youkilis, 33, was an everyday first baseman for the Red Sox from 2006 through 2010, until moving to third when Adrian Gonzalez arrived before the 2011 season. His ability to play either position is valuable in the marketplace, especially considering there is little free-agent depth at first base after Adam LaRoche.
— Jon Paul Morosi