In the seventh inning of Boston's game this afternoon against the Atlanta Braves, Youkilis was taken out of the lineup by Red Sox GM Ben Cherington because, as Cherington said, "there's a situation pending" (via CBS Sports).
Just after hitting a one-run triple, Youkilis got a final ovation from the Fenway faithful before cleaning out his locker.
The deal: Kevin Youkilis, alongside $5.5 million of his remaining contract for this season, will head over to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for right-hander Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge, a utility player.
Youkilis, hitting just .225 with 13 RBI, struggled heavily with injuries and consistency over the course of this season. The season did not begin very steadily for Youkilis, as new manager Bobby Valentine questioned his commitment almost right out of the gate.
The X-factor that further propelled this Youkilis trade was Red Sox prospect Will Middlebrooks. He has been phenomenal thus far in the season with a .331 batting average, nine home runs and 33 RBI.
Needless to say, Middlebrooks won the job and will be the starting third baseman for Boston for the next several years.
Who potentially got the better end of the deal
What the Red Sox got in return was Brent Lillibridge, who has hit .174 on the season. He has not had the same amount of success this season as he has in previous seasons, but he will presumably be very valuable on the basepaths and as a utility man in the outfield when needed.
Stewart, a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher, has also struggled this season with an ERA of 6.00. However, his youth provides Boston with a chance to reshape him in their system.
This will be the third trade Stewart has been involved in over the past few seasons. He was once a highly-touted prospect, but he has yet to live up to expectations in the majors.
As for the White Sox, they will receive a key component of the Red Sox for the past nine seasons in Kevin Youkilis. With Youkilis hitting very well in today's game, there seems to be some hope in Chicago that, with a fresh start and an opportunity to play daily, he will return to his form of a few years ago.
If so, this is a very good deal for the White Sox.
With Youk's value as low as it currently stands, this seems to have been the best possible deal for both parties. The White Sox get a third baseman—after Orlando Hudson proved to be an abysmal replacement—while Boston no longer has to shuffle Adrian Gonzalez around the field or keep Middlebrooks out of the starting lineup.
What Boston got in the deal was very average, although Lillibridge will be a valuable piece down the line when needed. Stewart may need some adjusting, but with Franklin Morales pitching so well right now, they will not need to use Stewart on the big league team at the moment.
All in all, both teams got what they wanted. However, if Youkilis can remain healthy and hit like he once did, this is a steal for the White Sox. They are currently sitting on top of their division by half a game over Cleveland.
Regardless, both teams now have their third baseman. The trade of Youkilis ought to settle down much confusion and further controversy running through the Red Sox clubhouse—which is only a good thing.