Changing Sox: Kevin Youkilis Trades in His Red Sox for White Sox

Sean McDermottContributor IIIJune 24, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 12:  American League All-Star Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox hits a single in the seventh inning of the 82nd MLB All-Star Game at Chase Field on July 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The acquisition of third basemen Kevin Youkilis solidifies the Chicago White Sox as a contender in the 2012 MLB playoffs and for years to come.

With recent struggles at the hot corner, this was a move that needed to be done.

Chicago's trade with the Red Sox, in my eyes, was a steal.

The White Sox traded versatile utility man Brent Lillibridge (.175 AVG, 2 RBI) and pitching prospect Zach Stewart. 

Stewart is no stranger to being a center piece of big trades. In 2009 as part of the Scott Rolen-to-Cincinnati deal, he was shipped up north of the border to Toronto, and last season he came to Chicago with Jason Frasor in exchange for Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen.

In return for the duo, the White Sox receive Youkilis, the man Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane calls the "Greek God of Walks."

As an added bonus, the Red Sox will also give the White Sox $5.5 million dollars, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of CBS Sports.

Up to this point in the season, Youkilis has been nothing but a downer for Red Sox nation, as he is batting .225, with four home runs, 13 RBI and 14 walks.

The recent struggles of Youkilis led to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine's decision to keep "riding the hot hand" with rookie phenom 3B Will Middlebrooks. This led to an odd mix of disagreement and understanding regarding the situation between Valentine and Youkilis.  

This trade will work out perfectly for the White Sox, as they add a veteran dominant hitter (as evident from his .286 career batting average) to their lineup, along with a much needed gold glove.

The White Sox have been in the dumps with third basemen for much of the season.

First, the White Sox had a solid glove in Brent Morel, but he was missing a bat and struggled to hit the ball.

On May 18, Morel went on the DL, which led to Chicago's putting Eduardo Escobar at third (which failed) and acquiring Orlando Hudson.

The White Sox third basemen were so bad that some people wanted White Sox manager Robin Ventura to grab a glove and start at the hot corner.

Now, with Youkilis the White Sox batting order looks amazing.

With Alejandro De Aza as the leadoff man; Gordan Beckham hitting second; and Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, Youkilis, Alex Rios, Dayan Viciedo, A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez rounding out the order, this team is poised to have opposing pitching coaches updating their resumes.

I believe this trade will add an extra 10 to 15 wins to Chicago's overall record. The White Sox, with their consistently strong pitching and new lineup, will be a tough team to beat for the rest of the season.

Look for Youkilis to get back to his old ways and for the White Sox to contend for the AL Central crown.