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Spark up the Youkilis to D-backs rumors again

One of the concerns for the Arizona Diamondbacks heading
into the 2012 season was whether Ryan Roberts could
duplicate his 2011 production.

In his first year as an everyday player, Roberts popped 19
homers, many of them of the clutch variety, drove in 65
and stole 18 bases while batting .249.

Arizona’s front office decided not to look for
reinforcements at the hot corner during the offseason, and
that is one of the things that has backfired on the team
through the first two months of the season.

Roberts has struggled (.226 average, .288 OBP) and has
time with Josh Bell, who was acquired from Baltimore in
April. Bell hasn’t produced in his limited role and the
defense at the position has left something to be
desired as well (a .932 combined fielding percentage —
third-worst mark in the National League).

So, who’s available? A few weeks ago, the rumors started
circulating out of Boston that veteran Kevin Youkilis
could be on the market, and CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler has
re-sparked that talk via Twitter.

Youkilis, who has battled a back injury this season, could
the Diamondbacks on three fronts. First, he’s a veteran
with two World Series rings in his collection. Secondly,
when healthy, he’s a formidable bat in the lineup. Youk
is a .288 career hitter, and has averaged 84 runs batted
in over the last six seasons. And, he’s a solid defender.
Youkilis won a Gold Glove as a first baseman in 2007, and
has a .966 career fielding percentage as a third basemen.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the San
Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers also have
interest in acquiring Youkilis, so the chances are good
that if he is moved, he’ll land in the National League