Angels 'not involved' in Youkilis trade talks

Angels 'not involved' in Youkilis trade talks

ANAHEIM -- Rumors involving a trade for Red Sox corner infielder Kevin Youkilis have picked up over the last couple of days, but the Angels have stayed away from the fray despite the lack of power they've received from their third basemen.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Saturday that the Angels are "not involved" in trade talks to acquire Youkilis, whom reports indicate could be traded very soon. To varying degrees, the White Sox, Indians, Braves, Pirates and Dodgers have been linked to Youkilis, who has become expendable due to the emergence of Will Middlebrooks and has struggled through a career-low .670 OPS in 41 games this season.

With Mark Trumbo playing left field almost primarily, the Angels have used the slap-hitting Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis at third base, a platoon that has been mostly responsible for the 12th-ranked OPS in the American League at that position (.640).

But Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes the club has enough power in other areas to be able to stomach that.

"We have enough power in our lineup, no doubt, that we're going to have better slugging percentage, and I think we're starting to see that," said Scioscia, who wasn't asked specifically about Youkilis. "Discounting the first month, with Alberto or Maicer, I think you're starting to see those guys become productive. We're starting to drive the ball better. We definitely have more slugging percentage potential on this team, which allows you to play maybe a guy like Alberto or Maicer at third base and maybe not rely on having to get power from that spot."

Youkilis is making $12 million in the final year of his contract, with a $13 million club option. Reports have said the Red Sox are willing to pay a big chunk of the three-time All-Star's remaining pro-rated share.