Kevin Youkilis to White Sox: Grading Both Sides of Pivotal Trade
Kevin Youkilis is still a part of the Sox organization, just not the red ones anymore.
In a move that Boston has been attempting to pull off for some time now, the Red Sox shipped Youkilis and a bunch of money to pay his contract to the Chicago White Sox for utility man Brent Lillibridge and right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart.
The news comes from ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Red Sox have traded Kevin Youkilis and cash to White Sox for Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge confirmed.— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) June 24, 2012
Let's take a closer look at both sides of the deal.
Chicago White Sox: A
Just how bad have Orlando Hudson and Brent Morel been at the hot corner? Well, really, really bad (via ESPN's Buster Olney):
White Sox 3bmen came into today with a .466 ops...worst in the majors, by 102 points— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 24, 2012
All Chicago had to give up to get Youk, 33, were Lillibridge, who had started just three games in the last 16, and Stewart, who was only the fourth- or fifth-best arm in the bullpen.
According to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, Boston will also send cash considerations of $5.5 million to Chicago, leaving the White Sox liable for just a fraction of Youkilis' remaining 2012 contract.
So, while the oddly-stanced third baseman has struggled with inconsistency and injuries, it's completely plausible that he just needed a new start in a different city.
What grade do the White Sox get?
Best-case scenario, Youkilis returns to All-Star form and makes the White Sox a serious contender in the American League. Worst-case scenario, he doesn't pan out, but because this was such a low-risk maneuver by Chicago—and it can buy him out after the season—that wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
The Red Sox were in a tough position. Young Will Middlebrooks has been smoking the ball, and it was time to move on from Youkilis. However, with the way the vet had been playing, it was going to be almost impossible to get equal value for him.
Despite paying a large chunk of his salary, Boston was still only able to get marginal pieces.
Nonetheless, they are pieces that have the potential to contribute in under-the-radar ways.
Lillibridge isn't an everyday starter, but he's a nice utility player who can play all around the outfield and both corner-infield spots while providing good defense and solid speed.
After hitting .258 last year, the University of Washington product is hitting just .175 (in 70 plate appearances) this season for Chicago, but he's a nice player for depth.
As for Stewart, he gives the Red Sox a powerful extra arm in the 'pen.
Boston's relief pitching has been really stepping it up as of late, propelling it to 11th in the league in bullpen ERA, but it's unclear how long guys like Scott Atchison and Matt Albers will continue to be lights out. Stewart is just 25 years old, and he provides solid bullpen depth.
For what the Red Sox had to work with, they did a good job of getting rid of a soon-to-be unused player for decent depth.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?