Kevin Youkilis has been a savior of sorts for the 2012 Chicago White Sox. With the third base position being a black hole bigger than ones seen in space, the Sox acquired Da Youkah for a next to nothing. Originally, I was against the White Sox getting Youkilis because I figured his injury history at third base would keep him down. Little did I know all Kevin Youkils needed was a little motivation.
Coming into today, Kevin Youkilis’ slash-line with the White Sox is an impressive .260/.383/.512/.896, solidifying the two-hole in the process, a spot that hurt the White Sox all season. Not only is Youkilis doing everything on the field, but his value off the field might be just as high. Kevin Youkilis is slowly becoming a fan favorite. His persona is something that the general Chicago fan base loves to cheer for. And unlike most grinder players the city of Chicago loves to root for, Kevin Youkilis is actually pretty good. I was at the game against the Angels where Youkilis hit two bombs, and that crowd was absolutely electric when he tied the game. The “Youk” chants showered down like he’s been a Chicagoan for life. I only came up with on conclusion after that home run: the White Sox really need to pick up Kevin Youkilis’ $13 million option for 2013.
At first, I wanted to decline the option, hoping Kevin Youkilis would sign a short-term deal, something along the lines of two years, $20 million. Not anymore. The Sox cannot afford to enter a negotiation phase with Kevin Youkilis. They have a chance to lock him up for next year, so they need to capitalize on that.
The free agent class for first base and third base are abysmal. In fact, it’s so bad that Youkilis would probably be the top first baseman on the open market, let alone being the top third baseman. It’s very likely that Kevin Youkilis’ AAV will be close to $13 million dollar on the open market, which is why the White Sox need to just pick up the one-year, $13 million option.
One year deals are my favorite contracts in sports. They keep players motivated more than anything else. Kevin Youkilis knows that the next contract he signs will probably be his last big payday, so he will be a motivated man in 2013 if the Sox pick up the option. It also allows the White Sox to keep this window open a little longer.
Payroll shouldn’t be a concern for the White Sox next season, especially if they make a nice postseason run. So hopefully the White Sox brass do the right thing and extend The Youkah.