Sunday ended up being a very good day for the Chicago White Sox. Right before Eduardo Escobar came through with the game winning hit, word broke that the White Sox had made a trade with the Boston Red Sox for former All Star third baseman Kevin Youkilis.
Youkilis, 33, will provide a huge upgrade offensively at third base for the White Sox after Brent Morel and Orlando Hudson have been downright putrid this season. He comes to Chicago hitting a pedestrian .233/.315/.377 with 4 home runs and 13 RBI in 162 plate appearances. He is a bit of a liability defensively at 3B, but Hudson hasn’t been the greatest over there and the range that Alexei Ramirez has at shortsop, he should be able to make enough plays. The White Sox will only have to pay $2 million dollars for “Youk” for the rest of this season
Super utility player Brent Lillibridge, 28, had a very productive offensive season last year, but in 2012 he is only hitting .175/.232/.190. He can play pretty much every position on the diamond, but his bat at this point isn’t a factor at all.
Zach Stewart, 25, was acquired when the White Sox trade Edwin Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline last season. He has mainly been pitching out of the bullpen with the White Sox and hasn’t been that good at all. Just recently after Stewart was beat up by the Chicago Cubs, he was sent to AAA and forgotten about. While with the Sox in ’12, Stewart was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA while giving up 10 home runs in 30 innings pitched.
Overall, I think this is a very good trade for the Chicago White Sox for a few reasons. Number one, it is not everyday you can trade a pitcher with a 6.00 ERA and a utility player that is batting .175 for a guy who has the ability to be a game changer in a playoff race. Number two, the financial hit is really nothing when you look that $2 million that the Sox will pay this season and the $1 million buyout he has on his $13 million team option for 2013. The Sox would have had Brent Lillibridge who will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2013 and should make somewhere close to $2 million or so and Stewart would have costed somewhere around $500K. So this move actually saves the Sox money next season.
In the end, welcome to Chicago Youk!!! I hope you are out to show people that you are not at the end of your career.