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.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.