With the emergence of Will Middlebrooks at third base, the Boston Red Sox are dangling veteran Kevin Youkilis as trade bait, CbsSports.com reports.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has tried to accommodate both in the lineup at times by putting Youkilis at first base and shifting Adrian Gonzalez to right field, but the team would prefer to solve the problem via trade.
Youkilis, 33, has hit .313 in nine games since returning from the disabled list, entering play Friday night.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox are among the teams believed to be most interested in acquiring Youkilis.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is denying the trade reports.
REGGIE SLAMS HOTDOGS
Hmm, so Reggie Jackson doesn't like showboating in baseball.
Granted, Jackson could walk the walk back in his day, but Mr. October was a bit of a showboat himself.
Now Jackson is taking some slings after telling USA Today: "What I'm seeing these days (is) some of the arrogance, I feel like walking up, and saying, 'What's wrong with you? You can't play. That's not style. It's a goofy act.'
"I know it's entertainment, but if you have style and can't play, then you're nothing more than a fool. I see a lot of fools out there."
Noted Craig Calcaterra of NBCSports.com: "(This) is pretty rich coming from a guy who called himself 'the straw that stirs the drink' in the Bronx before he even had a single at-bat as a Yankee."
UMP SPAT TO BE PROBED
MLB is looking into a spat between New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin and umpire Laz Diaz, Foxsports.com reported Friday.
Martin claimed that the ump wouldn't allow him to throw new baseballs back to the pitcher Wednesday night as punishment for arguing balls and strikes.
"Laz Diaz is a d---. Write it hard," Martin said in the clubhouse after the game.
Martin said he and Diaz exchanged words in the second or third inning over strike calls.
The catcher said he was told that throwing the new balls back "was a privilege that I had to earn."
ORDONEZ RETIREMENT SET
Magglio Ordonez, one of the best baseball players to come from Venezuela, officially will retire Sunday at Comerica Park.
From 1999 through 2003, Ordonez hit .312 while averaging 40 doubles, 32 homers and 118 RBI a season, and he did it while averaging just 70 strikeouts a year.
"Magglio was a great, silent teammate," Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland told MLB.com.
Beyond his obvious skill, the outfielder was known for his work ethic and intelligence.
Just 115 players in major-league history with 3,000 plate appearances have a higher career average than Ordonez's .309. The 38-year-old spent more than 14 seasons in the majors, the past seven with Detroit.
A FIRST FOR MARKAKIS
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career after having surgery Friday to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.
The 28-year-old is batting .256 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 50 games this season.
Bill Hall is back for his second stint with Baltimore. The infielder/outfielder has a .286 average with one homer in six games.
Justin Verlander, the reigning American League MVP, is more than just a good pitcher. Turns out he can hit, too. When the Detroit Tigers were in Boston this week, Verlander took batting practice and belted a pitch over the Green Monster ... The St. Louis Cardinals placed outfielder Skip Schumaker on the disabled list Friday with a right hamstring strain and activated Allen Craig, who has recovered from a strained left hamstring. Schumaker also was on the DL to open the season after suffering an oblique strain ... Desmond Jennings, who began a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday, could be back with the Rays by Tuesday if all goes well, the Tampa Bay Times has reported. The outfielder has been out since May 11 because of a sprained left knee ... Michael Morse, who hit .303 with 31 homers and 95 RBI last season, has been activated by the Washington Nationals from the 15-day disabled list. The Nationals have optioned outfielder Corey Brown to triple-A Syracuse ... The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated right-handed reliever Juan Cruz from the restricted list and placed right-handed starter Charlie Morton on the 15-day disabled list ... The Chicago Cubs claimed pitcher Jairo Asencio off waivers from the Cleveland Indians on Friday. Asencio, 29, will join the Cubs' major league roster.