The never-ending MLB Rumors surrounding Kevin Youkilis might finally come to an end.
Tom Brady’s brother-in-law is days – if not hours – away from relocating. Kevin Youkilis – a member of the Boston Red Sox since 2004 – has been the center of trade talks for a month, and it’s possible that a favorite has emerged. The Chicago White Sox (36-34) – 1.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians - have struggled to find someone to take control of third base ever since Brent Morel was disabled due to ongoing back issues. But can Kevin Youkilis help the White Sox?
Youkilis, 32, is definitely smack dab in the middle of the downward trend of his career. The ‘Greek God of Walks” is no more, considering Youkilis’ walk percentage is at an all-time low 8.7%. With Youkilis no longer walking as much as we are used to (12.4% career), it appears that every part of his game has disintegrated. Actually, the start of Youkilis’ decline began with the acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez. With the trade, it pushed the Youkilis from a comfort position where he was a top defender to third base, a tougher position that puts more of a toll on a player’s body.
Youkilis had a decent year last season. His .258/.373/.459/.832 slash-line is something the White Sox haven’t seen out of third base since their manager Robin Ventura played. This season, however, Youkilis’ slash-line is a very pedestrian .225/.311/.359/.670. But sadly, that line would bring a smile to White Sox fans’ faces.
If you want a description of how White Sox fans feel about their third base production, think of the scene in Anchorman when Brian puts on Sex Panther for the first time. I want you to think about the reactions people give from the newsroom when they get a whiff of the cologne that 60% of the time, it works every time. That’s how White Sox fans feel about their third basemen.
The Sox started the season with Brent Morel (.177/.225/.195/.420) at third base. Then, once Morel got hurt, they went with Eduardo Escobar for a week or so (.190/.299/.241/.540). Then, once Padres cut ties with Orlando Hudson, the White Sox hopped on that making Hudson (.160/.244/.272/.516) their every day third baseman. As you can clearly see, the declining Kevin Youkilis is an enormous upgrade for the contending White Sox.
Youkilis is making $12 million this year, with a team option for $13 million next season that includes an obvious $1 million buy-out. So one would expect the deep pocketed Red Sox will pay a majority of Youkilis’ contract in a trade.
Although I’m not high on Kevin Youkilis whatsoever, he would sadly be a huge upgrade for the Chicago White Sox, who could maybe catch lightning in a bottle with an aging veteran that is wanting to prove he still has some left in the tank. For the simple fact Youkilis is better than a replacement player, this is a move the White Sox probably have to make, especially on the cheap.
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