Olney: the Red Sox are “headed down that path” to trade Kevin Youkilis

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Buster Olney was on WEEI radio this afternoon and, based on his conversations with some anonymous executives, he thinks the Red Sox and Kevin Youkilis will part ways this summer:

“I’ve talked with a number of executives at other teams this week, because this looks like it’s headed down that path.” … Olney said that other general managers have told him that Youkilis is going to have to put about three productive and healthy weeks together in order for them to gauge his trade value.

Obviously Will Middlebrooks’ nice place since his callup is goosing this along.  I’ve not been paying too close attention to how Middlebrooks is perceived locally, but I get the sense that there’s some college football backup quarterback stuff going on there, where he’s seen as a savior while the old guy is taken for granted.

My question: if the Sox do start seriously shopping Youkilis, do the press and fans perceive it as a white flag waving on the 2012 season, or do they view it as making way for Middlebrooks?

Report: Mets, Jose Quintana agree to 2-year, $26 million deal

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The New York Mets and José Quintana agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract, adding another veteran arm to the team’s rotation.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.

New York has been rebuilding its pitching staff following a playoff loss to San Diego in the wild-card round. Three members of its rotation became free agents this offseason, and the Mets also had several openings in their bullpen.

Ace right-hander Justin Verlander agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract with New York.

Quintana played for Pittsburgh and St. Louis last season, going 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts. The left-hander was terrific after he was traded to the Cardinals in August, posting a 2.01 ERA in 12 appearances for the NL Central champions.

Quintana also worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis in his lone playoff start, but the Cardinals were eliminated by Philadelphia.