It was a busy day on the Southside. The Sox beat the Brewers 1-0 in 10iinings on a walk off single by Eduardo Escobar. The Sox walked away with a series win and regained first place since Cleveland lost today. The bigger news was the acquisition of third baseman Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. The Sox traded right handed pitcher Zach Stewart and utility man Brent Lillibridge for Youkilis and cash considerations. Escobar actually pitch hit for Lillibridge in the 10th inning because of the trade. The cash considerations sent the White Sox way was approximately $5.6 million dollars. So what does this mean to the White Sox?
Youkilis will be your new starting third baseman with Orlando Hudson moving to a utility role. Youkilis has struggled in Boston because of injury and rumors of a poor environment. Youkilis had lost his starting job to Boston's up and coming star Will Middlebrooks. Youkilis has raised his average to .233 recently. He has 4 HR's and 14 RBI's for the season. Entering Sunday, the revolving door at third base for the Sox has hit .167 with 18 RBIs and a .466 OPS
Can i confidently say that Kevin Youkilis is going to be a productive member of the Sox for the rest of the season? The answer is No, I can't. Youkilis is 33 yrs old and has struggled this season. That said, GM Ken Williams made a great trade. Zach Stewart did not have a future in the organization. He was a long reliever and was not in line to be a starter here. He was showcased Monday vs. the Cubs most likely in part because of the Red Sox interest. Lillibridge was a useful utility man, but his playing time had decreased this season. Jordan Danks will take over his outfield duties as a late inning substitution and the occasional day off for a starter. Eduardo Escobar and Orland Hudson will take over the infield duties that Lillibridge covered. So even though one player was moved off the major league roster his replacement is not a issue. Financially, the Sox added $2.5 million in salary and are responsible for the buyout on Youkilis contract which is $1million for next season. So at the end of the day Williams did not give up a lot.
If Youkilis can use the change of scenery to return to form he could be a great trade. Williams also showed us he is fully committed to winning this season. Williams most likely hopes that Youkilis can help the Sox win games and in turn draw more fans to the games. Increased attendance will lead to more revenue as the trading deadline approaches. Williams also did not trade away prospects in the system. It also shows the commitment from Chairman Jerry Reinsdrof to wining. Reinsdorf allowed Williams to add to the current payroll even with attendance down.
Youkilis does come with some intangibles as well. He has dealt with playing a in big market being from Boston. The Chicago media should be no problem for him. He has been a three time All-Star and part of two World Series. He should bring some veteran leadership and knowledge to the team. Williams still would like to add a starting pitcher and arm to the pen. The next month or so will be critical as the deadline approaches. If the Sox stay close or build a decent lead in first, Williams will be aggressive at the deadline to win the Central Division.
I hope Youkilis provides something for this team. Start preparing your chants fans. I can hear you now, Yoouuu-ko-lis. At least that's what I hope we here, and not boo's due to poor production.
Filed under: Uncategorized