Kevin Youkilis: Right Man at the Right Time

Kevin Youkilis: Right Man at the Right Time

We've seen the Kevin Youkilis trade reports before, but a new wave hit twitter last night from multiple national reporters. The bottom line? The White Sox are right in the mix for the Red Sox standout.

According to these reports, our Sox have "engaged in heavy dialogue" with Boston as "the Dodgers and other teams remain in the mix." Other published reports have mentioned the Braves and Indians as two other clubs with interest. It seems things have heated up because Bosox manager Bobby Valentine has chosen to go with hot rookie Will Middlebrooks at third base with every indication that he's the future in Beantown.

There's little doubt that the White Sox are crying for help at third as they continue to slide since the nine-game winning streak. Brent Morel is out until later in the season at best and, frankly, we don't know if he's the answer anyway. Kenny Williams made a good move, albeit stop-gap, to pick up Orlando Hudson. But let's face it, he's a good guy, has been decent in the field, but he's not a third baseman and is hitting in the vicinity of Adam Dunn's 2011 season. Eduardo Escobar? Brent Lillibridge? Can a contender really count on them?

Two other possibilities are at AAA Charlotte--Dan Johnson and Conor Jackson. Both have spent considerable time in the majors and are hitting well, but neither is a natural third baseman. The Sox are probably figuring it wouldn't be an overall improvement over what they have.

Granted, Youkilis hasn't performed as he has in the past and has been beset by injury. But he's been a clutch, hard-nosed player with two World Series rings. Also, it can't be overstated that his tenacious approach would be a good complement to the White Sox personnel, which for the most part are low-key guys like Paul Konerko, Dunn and Alex Rios. In my view, Youkilis's veteran presence would be a huge plus as the Sox take to the road next week to face the Twins and Yankees and come home to play the Rangers and Blue Jays before the All-Star break. And, of course, his presence would be key down the stretch if the Sox stay in contention.

With the Red Sox willing to pick up a heavy load of Youk's contract, it seems like a logical scenario. It's likely that a package featuring Matt Thornton (are you as frustrated with the lefty's consistency as I am?) would attract, and perhaps is already attracting, interest around Fenway Park.

Sox Notes of Note:  I can't say enough about Chris Sale's performance last night in the heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Brewers, but you can't win if you can't score...Kudos to the Sox for DFAing Kosuke Fukudome in favor of Jordan Danks. A no-brainer and certainly something we hoped for when Fukudome was taken off the DL...Not crazy about Dylan Axelrod in the rotation and making a start today, but he's the most logical with Philip Humber heading to the DL...And Brian Bruney is back in the pen, saying he benefitted from Richard Dotson's tutelage at Charlotte. Guess we'll see...Sox slip 1 1/2 games behind the Tribe.

 

 

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    Art Berke

    Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.

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