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Phillies Trade Rumors: Will Middlebrooks Over Kevin Youkilis Preferred

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May 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (64) prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.  Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
May 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks (64) prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Unlikely Trade Scenario Highlights Team Goals

The Philadelphia Phillies may be more interested in Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks than veteran slugger Kevin Youkilis, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Ever since rumors of Youkilis’ availability began surfacing, the Phillies have been tied to the veteran corner infielder.

Cafardo adds that while the Phillies may prefer Middlebrooks, it doesn’t appear the Red Sox would have interest trading the 23-year-old. Instead, this highlights how the club might be preparing for the future:

The Phillies are looking to get younger, especially if they deem this season a washout at some point.

Cafardo notes the Phillies' desire to get younger, especially if they are looking past the 2012 season. Infielders Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins will be 33, 34 and 34 when next season begins, and 36-year-old third baseman Placido Polanco is in the final year of his deal with the Phillies.

File this under wishful thinking for now, but keep it as a useful reminder of the front office's current hurdles -- and how any interest in Youkilis is probably tempered with those future goals in mind.