MIAMI - The Red Sox are negotiating with embattled reliever Bobby Jenks on a contract settlement that will end his association with the team, a major league source said Wednesday.
The Red Sox, who signed Jenks to a two-year, $12 million deal before the 2011 season, declined comment on the matter.
Jenks has appeared in only 19 games for the Sox, none since last July 7. He was 2-2 with a 6.32 earned run average over 15 2/3 innings. Jenks was on the disabled list three times, first with biceps tightness and then twice for a back injury. He also was found to have a blood clot.
Jenks underwent back surgery Dec. 12 in Boston and again 18 days later in Phoenix to resolve complications from the first surgery.
Jenks reported to spring training and was placed on the 60-day disabled list Feb. 21.
The righthander was arrested March 23 and charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident at a Fort Myers, Fla., strip club. According to a police report, Jenks said he was under the influence of “too many muscle relaxers.’’
Jenks later issued a statement through the team apologizing for his actions. He has not been seen around the team since.
Jenks has been unable to pitch since the surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season. The Red Sox allowed him to return to his home in Arizona several weeks ago.
Youkilis sits out
Kevin Youkilis was out of the lineup after being hit in the ribs by a pitch from Marlins reliever Steve Cishek (a Falmouth, Mass., native) in the eighth inning Tuesday night.
“He’s rotationally restricted,’’ said manager Bobby Valentine, reading off a report from head athletic trainer Rick Jameyson. “That was a solid whack.’’
Youkilis is 3 of 25 in his last eight games with one extra-base hit and one RBI. His batting average has dropped to .219 and he has a .655 OPS.
Valentine spoke to Youkilis Tuesday about the trade rumors surrounding him. Several teams have been following Youkilis in the last 10 days, and it is believed that the Red Sox are open to dealing him knowing that rookie Will Middlebrooks is ready to take over third base.
“Just about those situations, his life,’’ the manager said. “Those are the kind of talks you have. I’ve seen guys in the past stay positive because they wanted to be traded and this is a great time in their life.
“Every season, at least three months of the season, trade rumors swirl. When you happen to be one of the guys who’s a name, it’s no fun. Answering unanswerable questions, you know?’’
Valentine said he couldn’t tell how much the speculation has affected Youkilis.
“He’s a tough guy, boy. It seems like he’s a tough guy,’’ Valentine said. “He wouldn’t be human if it didn’t affect him. It’s his life, right?
“His wife hears about it. Where are we going to be living? It’s hard.’’
Detour for Ross
The Red Sox left for Chicago after the game, but Cody Ross stayed behind. He will fly to Buffalo Thursday morning to join up with Pawtucket for a four-game series, but he won’t play until Friday.
“Time to play,’’ Ross said. “Looking forward to it.’’
Ross, who has been out since May 19 with a fractured bone in his left foot, hopes to be activated off the disabled list Tuesday.
“That’s his call,’’ Valentine said. “It’s how he’s seeing pitches, what his timing is. Hopefully he’ll see a variety of pitchers. Sometimes you only see one kind of pitcher and it’s not enough.
“You want to see a slider, a sinker, a righthander, a lefthander, a changeup.’’
Ross was hitting .271 with an .883 OPS before the injury.
Nava gets better
Daniel Nava took some swings for the first time since straining the top of his left hand. He has been out of the lineup for four games. “It’s getting a lot better,’’ said Nava, who had a cortisone shot Sunday. “The day off will help me, and I should be able to play on Friday.’’ . . . Aaron Cook pitched in a simulated game in Lowell and sprung for dinner for the Rookie League players afterward. Cook is close to being ready for a rehabilitation assignment . . . Mike Lowell, who played seven years for the Marlins and five for the Red Sox, was at the game with his family. His son, Anthony, wore a Sox hat and a Marlins T-shirt. Daughter Alexis had a Sox shirt and a Marlins hat. The much-respected Lowell retired after the 2010 season . . . Former Globe reporter Lesley Visser, now with CBS Sports, threw out the first pitch to Mark Buehrle. As was the case with her stories, the pitch was on the mark.