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MLB Trade Rumors: D-backs Remain Interested In Kevin Youkilis, Joe Saunders Could Be Dealt

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The Arizona Diamondbacks remain one of the clubs most interested in Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, but talks have not gone anywhere in recent days. Youkilis would have some value to the D-backs, but he would come at an expensive price for not only this season but potentially 2013, as well.

Boston would also want a valuable player or two in return for the 33-year-old, and a recent report suggests the asking price was Gerardo Parra.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has the latest from the rumor mill:

The Diamondbacks are targeting third basemen, their being scouts being dispatched to look at possible trade targets. They've already had multiple looks at Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, and we continue to hear that Towers is reluctant to go down that road, for several reasons.

For one, there's the money; Youkilis is owed the balance of his $12 million salary, plus at least a $1 million buyout on next year's $13 million option.

Then there's what the Red Sox are asking for him. "They're trying to make it look like he's the Youkilis of five years ago instead of the Youkilis of today," one source said. The Red Sox apparently were asking for Gerardo Parra to be included. The Diamondbacks said no.

And then there's the question of what Youkilis has left in the tank. He'd likely be an upgrade on what the Diamondbacks have been getting so far, but enough to make a difference?

The thought of including Parra in a deal for a badly-aging Youkilis is scary, if not funny for most Diamondbacks fans. As Piecoro mentions in the story, this is hardly the guy who was an All-Star five years ago. And for a team that does not have a lot of spending money, it would be tough for GM Kevin Towers to justify spending that kind of cash.

There is also talk that veteran southpaw Joe Saunders could be moved in the right deal.

There are still indications that they'd be willing to trade left-hander Joe Saunders if the right deal came along. There is said to be interest from Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston and, somewhat surprisingly, Pittsburgh. They could probably get a decent piece back for Saunders, who is making a reasonable $6 million this season.

And trading Saunders would open up room for top prospect Trevor Bauer, who before yesterday had been dominating Triple-A hitters the way he had been dominating Double-A hitters earlier in the year.

The 2012 trade deadline is still more than a month away, but this is typically the time of year when teams decide whether they'll make a push in the second half of the year or try and build for the future. The D-backs have the talent to challenge the Dodgers and Giants in the NL West, but they cannot afford to keep slipping up at home and against lesser competition.

For more on the club and trade rumors, be sure to check out AZ Snake Pit.