Kevin Youkilis trade not believed imminent

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It’s well past noon and we haven’t checked in on the Kevin Youkilis rumor mill. Time to rectify that.

CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam has the goods:

Five teams — the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and a fifth unidentified team — are evolving.

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks, a second source revealed, while once involved in talks for the infielder, are no longer part of the mix.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted late Saturday night that the Dodgers were only engaging in “minimal contact” with the Boston front office. He also called the Indians a “longshot.” So we might be able to go ahead and rule out those two teams as well.

Youkilis is in the Red Sox starting lineup on Sunday against the Braves, batting sixth and playing third base. Will Middlebrooks — the sudden star who has rendered Youk expendable — is serving as Boston’s DH.

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.