The Boston Red Sox continue to move toward a trade of Youkilis, speaking with multiple clubs, according to major-league sources.
The White Sox have engaged in heavy dialogue with Boston regarding Youkilis, but the Dodgers and possibly other teams remain in the mix, sources said.
The Red Sox likely would prefer to send Youkilis to a National League team — one they are not competing with for a postseason spot and would avoid in the early rounds of the playoffs.
The White Sox’s need for Youkilis is obvious — third baseman Brent Morel is out indefinitely with a back injury, and his replacement, Orlando Hudson, is batting just .160 in 81 at-bats.
The Dodgers likely would play Youkilis at third base, where they ranked 12th in the NL in OPS entering Friday night’s play.
The Braves also have scouted Youkilis recently, according to published reports. The Indians also had interest in Youkilis, but would prefer to save their limited resources for a run at a left fielder or starting pitcher, sources said.
Youkilis, 33, has batted just .231/.326/.372 since missing three weeks with lower left back tightness and coming off the disabled list on May 22.
The Red Sox are willing to assume a portion of his remaining salary — almost $7 million, along with a $1 million buyout on next year’s $13 million option — to receive better players in return.
Youkilis did not play Friday night in the Red Sox’s 4-1 loss to the Braves. Manager Bobby Valentine stuck with the red-hot rookie, Will Middlebrooks, at third base.