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Kevin Youkilis sent to White Sox for Zach Stewart, Brent Lillibridge

Jun 24, 2012, 5:26 PM EDT

Kevin Youkilis AP

The White Sox announced after Sunday’s game that they’ve acquired Kevin Youkilis from Boston in exchange for right-hander Zach Stewart and utilityman Brent Lillibridge.

The Red Sox are also sending $5.5 million in cash to help cover Youkilis’ salary, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

“I just got off the phone with him, he’s very excited to join our club and he’s got a little edge to him that I like,” White Sox GM Kenny Williams said. “I can’t tell you exactly what he said, but he wants to come in and prove some people wrong.”

Youkilis will take over at the hot corner for the White Sox. Brent Morel, who opened the season with the job, is out with a back injury and there is no timetable for his return. He was struggling mightily anyway, and he’ll likely be optioned to Triple-A once healthy.

The Red Sox are now committed to Will Middlebrooks at third, and they’ll see if Stewart and Lillibridge can help in lesser roles. Stewart, 25, had a 6.00 ERA in one start and 17 relief appearances for the White Sox this season. He’s to join the rotation at Triple-A Pawtucket for now. Extremely homer-prone up to this point of his major league career — he’s allowed 21 in 97 1/3 innings — he figures to benefit from getting out of U.S. Cellular Park. While Fenway is still a hitter’s park, it’s not a home run park.

Lillibridge was outstanding in his bit role last year, hitting .258/.340/.505 with 13 homers in 186 at-bats. This year, he’s returned to previous form, with a .175 average, no homers and 26 strikeouts in 63 at-bats. On the plus side, he’s a good defensive outfielder, and he’s capable of playing anywhere in the infield, though he’s well below average at second base and short.

Youkilis, who was drafted by Boston back in 2001, went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple Sunday in his final game for the Red Sox. He’s hitting .233/.317/.377 in 146 at-bats this season.

 

Read more: Directionless Red Sox hope for addition by subtraction

  1. barackfan - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    This will do nothing but help a struggling left side infield and put some runs up.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    That’s good.

    Boston must be cornering the market on weak hitting outfielders who can’t even OPS+ 100.

  3. drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Really hope the clubhouse mess in Boston isn’t responsible for Youk’s hitting woes.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Why the downthumbs?

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        Because it’s a dumb comment.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

        Which means, as usual, there are a huge collection of people who know nothing.

      • baseballisboring - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:39 PM

        Uhhhhh yeah, like you. As in, you know nothing about the Red Sox clubhouse because you’re not in it, and you take stupid media narratives way too seriously?

      • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

        Media narratives? You couldn’t follow a trail of breadcrumbs the size of a WonderBread factory.

    • jwbiii - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:11 PM

      Given some of the comments he’s made about his teammates, Boston may have just taken a step in cleaning up that mess.

  4. djdvd - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    The next question is if Youkilis has anything left. Power is down, walk rate is down. It might be the beginning of the end for him.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      He hit .199 in the second half last year with an almost identical OPS as he’s posted this year.

      If it is the end, this isn’t the beginning of it.

    • obamablowz - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      more like the middle of the end for him, he’s way past the beginning!

  5. oldpaddy - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Two 4a players for Youk and $5.5m.
    Is this a horrendous trade for the red sox, or is youk THAT bad?

    I thought youk was worth a little more than this. The $5.5m is like pouring salt in my wounds.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

      Suspect he’ll bounce back in a good clubhouse. For how long, I don’t know.

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        What’s the matter with you? Clubhouses don’t make players slump, and there’s no real evidence that there’s anything wrong with the Boston clubhouse that a few more wins and few less jackals in the press corps won’t cure.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

        What’s the matter with me? Look at the history. Look at what Ortiz and lots of others have said. Look at Bobby V calling Youk out in the press. Look at the disgruntlement over losing and injuries and Francona being fired. If you don’t see it, you aren’t looking.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM

        Look at the history. Look at what Ortiz and lots of others have said. Look at Bobby V calling Youk out in the press. Look at the disgruntlement over losing and injuries and Francona being fired. If you don’t see it, you aren’t looking.

        Umm, Ortiz wasn’t takling about a Clubhouse issue, he was talking about problems with the media and how the media tries to create Clubhouse issues. As for the losing, not sure what you are trying to say? Should the Sox players be happy with losing? And what players/clubhouse went after Francona? I know tons on the media did, and the front office was the one leaking the report about his substance abuse.

        The problem is Boston (and NY) is, and always will be, the media. They write ex-post facto bullshit as a way to “explain” why a team does poorly, rather than do a bit of research and come up with real reasons for a loss (or two). It’s far easier to say “Manny/Nomar were cancers that needed to be removed” and conveniently forget all the winning the team did with them, then spend some time on b-ref.com or fangraphs, or study film and find real answers.

        For pete’s sake, the Boston media (after Gammons) was led by CHB whose entire career was built around a “curse” (and books, tours, etc about it), who then said that curses were bunk once the Sox won a WS in ’04.

      • skeleteeth - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        For science, I’ve made a point of referencing this link whenever “The Curse” is mentioned since it was published:

        http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2004/news/story?page=Curse041005

      • Ari Collins - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        Fascinating reading, skeleteeth. Thanks for the link!

    • baseballisboring - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      His stock was at an all-time low, but I’m with you. I don’t think he’s gonna hit .233/.317/.377 the rest of the way, especially in that division and ballpark, and the White Sox snagged him for two spare parts. The only thing the Red Sox are really gaining here is positional flexibility and $500K. Again, his stock was low, but I thought with his track record there would have been a better offer on the table.

      • oldpaddy - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        If they didn’t eat $5.5m then I’d feel a little better. The money is what shocks me more than the 4a guys.

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        What Youk does with the White Sox is irrelevant. The Red Sox had no options…playing him weakened the line-up and defense and risked injury; not playing him lessened his value and created instant tension for a team that needs to settle in and start winning. Plus the Sox owed Youk a chance to play somewhere. It’s obviously the best trade the team could make fast, and that was the key: settling the issue ASAP.

      • baseballisboring - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        True.

  6. baseballisboring - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Thanks Youk, and good luck!

    • see3pee0 - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      As a Yankee fan, other than Varitek, the only other guy on the Red Sox I truly respected in the past few years. Sad to see it end that way but he has slipped (seriously)

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

        The guy is one year removed from a 126 wRC+ season and 3.7 fWAR in only 120 games. Yes he’s performing poorly this year, but he’s been injured all season and, I believe, recovering from surgery.

  7. proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    They did not get much for Youk; however, given his age and salary and BA, they probably were not expecting to get much. Stewart has been a pawn in three trades in his short career. He went from the Reds to the Jays as part of the Rolen trade. Last year, the Jays traded him to Chicago as part of the 3 team trade that sent Rasmus to Toronto.

    • Old Gator - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      What they “got” was six and a half million bucks off their payroll. Plus, with that face shipped so far away from the coastline, maybe the cod will come back. The big question now is, will it scare away the zebra mussels?

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:06 PM

        There is preliminary evidence that the cod may be coming back in at least one part of their traditional range. The trade of Youk might help in other areas of their traditional range. I have little hope that he will scare off the zebra mussels. They appear to be impervious.

        As far as the payroll relief is concerned, reducing the payroll was a goal of the current management in order to mitigate the effect of the payroll tax.

  8. giselleisasucubus - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    First domino. They are going to make a huge move next. Ellsbury might get traded considering the development of Nava, Kalish and the contract of Crawford. If they can get a solid return, it makes sense.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      It most surely does not makes sense to trade Ellsbury. Kalish isn’t a good CF-er and is intended to take over right instead.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Nava is almost 30 years old with limited exposure to the majors.

      Just because he’s having a bit of a hot streak doesn’t mean you’ll ever see him again after he cools off.

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Man i hope boston puts stewart in the rotation asap! I already like this kid a LOT

    • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Umm. No. He’s like 17th on the starting pitcher depth chart.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:09 PM

        Harry likes making clown statements.

    • soutsidemike - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      “Dirty” you must be a Yankee fan or not know baseball. Stewart is the worse pitcher the WS had in the bigs….As a WS fan I was glad when they sent him down last week….

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:21 PM

        You make it sound like those two options are mutually exclusive….

  10. js20011041 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    So, let me get this straight. Ben Cherington and company thought it was a good idea to trade a guy who is potentially a high OBP/above average bat guy for a light hitting utility player and a pitcher who doesn’t miss bats? And they had to throw in money too? If that’s the best you can do, you dont’ trade him. Somebody cue up Frank Costanza saying “you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.”

    • drewsylvania - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM

      Cue up everyone else saying “you don’t know what you’re talking about”, instead. They weren’t going to re-sign him. There was no place for him in the lineup, the way he’s been hitting. He’s hurt a lot. His bat has slowed. It made total sense to trade him.

      • js20011041 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        The only thing that justifies this move is the potential that Youkilis was going to be a clubhouse cancer if he isn’t playing full time. He has a pretty good track record of production and unless you believe his career has completely fallen off a cliff, you have to expect him to rebound somewhat. Does anyone really expect Middlebrooks to hit like an MVP candidate the rest of the year? What if Middlebrooks, or Gonzalez, or Ortiz gets hurt? If they had kept him, they’d at least have a decent bat off the bench and occasional starter. Instead they traded him to a team that is competing for the same playoff spot that they are, got essentially nothing of any value in return and payed for the pleasure of doing so.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        js, if Middlebrooks or Gonzalez or Ortiz gets hurt, no problem….We now have Brent Lillibridge to plug right in there. Or Nick Punto. Or Mike Aviles!

        YAY!

      • js20011041 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

        paid.

    • oldpaddy - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      I agree.
      I wasn’t crazy about theo, but if this is what the cherington years are going to be like, then I better sharpen my pitch fork and get my torch ready…

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      Theo left the farm system bare in a lot of places….

      But this season is pissing me off because they aren’t really seasoning guys they are just signing and trading for guys who has already topped out (Cody Ross has been a pleasant surprise though)…..Why trade anything for Marlon Byrd? Why not admit you don’t have it, and try and find out if you have more guys like Middlebrooks? What is Mike Aviles starting the season going to do for the team long term? Why do I keep seeing Darnell McDonald? Why should that guy even be taking up a spot in AAA where you should be developing young guys? Daniel Nava’s been hot but he’s also almost 30 years old with no major league exposure.

      And then you trade Youkilis for nothing useful. Why not just bring back Gabe Kapler and Darren Lewis?

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

        So Boston has a barren farm system. Except for Middlebrooks. But they shouldn’t trade Youkilis for salary relief in order to give Middlebrooks a spot. But they should get rid of the old guys to give young guys spots.

        “Admit you don’t have it”? The team is well above .500, has one of the best run differentials in baseball, and is only a couple wins from a playoff spot.

        What is it like holding seven contradictory thoughts in your brain, all attempting to call talk radio at once?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        Ari, they are FOUR games over .500. Not “well above”.

        If you honestly think this team, with it’s patchwork pitching staff, and over-their-head contributions from guys like Ross, Nava, Aviles (who sucks again now) Podsednik, and Shoppach are going to compete for the playoffs this season you’re crazy. They will be LUCKY to finish at .500.

        No team will ever make the playoffs running outfielders like Darnell MacDonald, Ryan Sweeney, Scott Podsednik, and Marlon Byrd out there regularly. ONE of those guys as a FOURTH outfield MAYBE.

        Just look at their stats….they have FIVE guys who have played in 35 games and posted above average OPS….and EIGHT Guys who have played in 35 and haven’t (Nick Punto and Marlon Byrd being the most egregious)

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        *Shrug.* Do you follow the team at all? None of those OFs are in the top 3 OFs on the current depth chart. Marlon Byrd hasn’t even been on the TEAM for two weeks. Sweeney might indeed be in the top 3 when he gets back. And he’s actually a pretty nifty player, especially when platooned with a lefty masher like Ross.

        Boston started out 4-10, and since then have gone 34-24, which is not only excellent baseball but a pretty significant length of time. Sure, the 4-10 happened too, and you can’t pretend it didn’t. But it also grows less relevant with every win. Only 5 teams in the league have better records, and that number is rapidly dwindling. Probably in part because only two teams have outscored their opponents by more than the Red Sox.

        They’re in a tough division, so who knows if they can make the playoffs even if they keep playing .590 ball. But pretending that they can’t is rather silly.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

        If by “Nifty” you mean “Below Average” than yes….Sweeney is indeed “Nifty”.

        Nothing like a corner outfielder with no power.

        And picking a random sample and saying they are “playing .590 ball” is ridiculous. They are .521 for the season. Why not just start from yesterdays game and assume they’ll play 1.000 the rest of the way?

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        Dumb comment. McDonald is around because the team has better outfielders all over the DL. Aviles is playing because he’s damn good, and younger than Scutaro, Marlon Byrd was a short-term solution when the injury bug hit, and did OK. Sweeney has been very good; So has Ross; so has Shoppach. Who’s “tapped out”?

        Why should they admit they don’t have it, when they’ve weathered the loss of their closer, their MVP-level centerfielder, Crawford and early an bullpen meltdown, injuries to starting pitchers, the Bard misfire and terrible years (so far) from Pedroia, Gonzalez, (and Youk), plus their top three starting pitchers, and yet are still within shot of first place? In short, what the hell are you taking about?

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM

        Sure, if you ignore defense and park effects, he’s below average. There are many ways to add value, and that value can be deeply depressed when you play in a cavernous park.

        You don’t go with a one-game sample size because it’s stupid. Weighing the “random sample” of the most recent 58 games somewhat more heavily than the first 14 is not. As I said, you can’t pretend the 4-10 start didn’t happen, and it’s a reflection of what can happen when this team plays very poorly. I don’t assume they’ll play .590 ball going forward, but they’re most likely to play a bit better than .520 ball. Assuming that they’ll play poorly enough to get back below .500 would entail pretending that the last 58 games didn’t happen.

        I’ll stick to reasonable expectations based on how they’ve actually played, thanks.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:27 PM

        Jack, an OPS+ of 89 doesn’t make Mike Aviles “damn good”….it makes him 11% below average for a major league shortstop.

        Which is actually pretty “damn bad”.

        And any player that is 30 or close to is “tapped out”. They have reached their ceiling. If someone is playing well beyond their career norms at that age, they will regress over the course of the season to their norms. This is known as “water finding it’s level”.

        And they had injuries….so what? That doesn’t change the final standings. They aren’t equipped to compete due mostly to injuries (although going into the season counting on Cody Ross or Ryan Sweeney to start at corner outfield, and with Mike Aviles your starter at Shortstop suggests the chances of them competing from day 1 were iffy).

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        Ok Ari, you want to go deeper than just offense….then Ryan Sweeney’s WAR is 1, which qualifies him as a “reserve” and, much like his OPS of 98, roughly “average”.

        Jesus, the guy has never even topped 100 in OPS+ OR rated higher than 1.8 WAR.

        He is the exact definition of Average (and you have to remember….AVERAGE includes Marlon Byrd and Darnell MacDonald dragging down the stats for EVERYONE)

      • skeleteeth - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        If I’m not mistaken, Sweeney was never meant to be a starter in the first place, especially with the signing of Ross late in the offseason. He just happened to rip doubles the first couple months and defensively was probably the best OF’er on the squad besides Ellsbury and Byrd. How can anything he’s done this year be anything short of positive aside from going on the DL?

      • ptfu - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        Not sure if you’re trolling by incorrectly using stats. I’ll assume you’re serious.

        Remember that WAR is related to playing time. So Sweeney’s 1 WAR so far has been racked up in just under half a season, which equates to about 2 WAR for a full season. There’s nothing wrong with a 2 WAR starter–respectable, but not an All-Star. Plus as Skeleteeth points out, he was intended as a backup and has easily exceeded those expectations so far. Sweeney is not the problem.

        Also, I believe that OPS+ is normalized against the overall league average, and not adjusted for the player’s position. So a shortstop could have a sub-100 OPS+ and still be a decent hitter FOR A SHORTSTOP. Kind of like, say, Aviles. Aviles is not a problem either.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        ptfu, First, I believe OPS+ accounts for position. And as for WAR, if you check out his Defensive WAR it is still only 0.5 so MAYBE 1.0 for the season….again, it’s very middling and he’s not good enough to be anything but a fourth outfielder.

        I don’t even dislike the guy. I’m a Red Sox fan, but I’m also a realist….they have a couple of good players, but the rest is plug-and-play with very average talent that is not going to carry the team to the playoffs.

        They need to accept that and start seasoning guys that will help in the LONG TERM, not running out guys who have already peaked AT AVERAGE.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM

        OPS+ is not normalized for position. Mike Aviles has the third-highest WAR among AL shortstops.

        Ryan Sweeney has been an above-average RF when he plays. (And yes, he’s had more than 1.8 WAR in a season. Maybe try looking at every one of his years?). No, he’s not a star. But he’s hardly the reason the Sox aren’t leading the division, nor is he a player who somehow dooms a team to missing the playoffs. Especially when he’s the 3rd or 4th best OF on the team (depending on who’s healthy).

        You should really stop using statistics. You’ve managed to use a different one incorrectly in every post you’ve made, which is, frankly, kind of impressive. If you just say, “I believe that this roster is going to perform worse going forward because that’s my personal opinion, I just don’t believe in these guys,” it will be a reasonable statement that reasonable people can make and other reasonable people can disagree with. But you should really stop trying to prove it, because you’re very bad at that.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      This is an addition by subtraction move. Got rid of a guy who is expensive, hurt and on the downside of his career for a younger player with a lot of talent. Youkillis wasnt going to be happy riding the pine so its best to send him somewhere else. Trade makes complete sense.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      Think “Luxury Tax” relief. Every little bit helps.

  11. chicagosworth - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    I like Liliibridge. He had some good games with W.Sox.Replaceable though. Youk’s struggling with only four HR and 14 RBI. But can help on the field when the ball smacks down 3rd, but the issues in the RSox clubhouse might play a small role in this. I Thought Escobar could have taken the roll on 3rd for the W.Sox cause he played well there when he helped out.

  12. pastabelly - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    This is a salary dump that was needed because of the emergence of Middlebrooks. Hey, it’s sad to see Youkilis leave. But it’s time and playing Gonzales in RF was making little sense. Let it go. By the way, Youk was barely hitting his weight.

    • hittfamily - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      I think Youk must have been a cancer in the clubhouse, because this isn’t a salary dump. The White Sox are only the hook for 3 mil + a 1 mil buyout. The Red Sox are essentially paying 5.5 mil for 2 AAAA players, who might get DFA’s before the season is over. They wanted Youk gone!!!, and it didn’t matter what they had to pay someone else to take him.

      If Youk wasn’t a cancer, they’d have put him on the DL til he was healthy, and used his bad off the bench and a fill in for Ortiz, Gonzo, and Middlebrooks. 9.5 million to have Youk on the Bench is much more helpful for a team than Stewart and Lillibridge, especially with an outfield as packed as the Red Sox’s already is.

      This wasn’t a slary dump. This was Chemotherapy.

      • teaspoon1731 - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        The outfield is hardly packed, as players are constantly going on the DL. There will be decisions to be made when Ellsbury, Crawford, Sweeney ad Podsednik are all healthy. But most of those are at least a month away still.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 6:51 PM

        You do realize that they’re not paying Lillibridge and Stewart $5.5MM? That they were already paying that to Youkilis? They traded him for a couple million dollars in savings, and some spare parts that may or may not be useful but make more sense for Boston’s roster.

        $9.5MM to have Youkilis on the bench is not useful, no. If they’d traded Stewart and Lillibridge for a $2MM Youkilis, you’d be like, “What? What use could he be to this team?” He fits Chicago’s roster a whole lot better, plus the financial savings.

        Which is not to say that Youk was or was not a clubhouse cancer. But this was a fairly normal baseball trade. Nothing to see here.

      • hittfamily - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        My point was that 5.5 mm is gone no matter what. So they have their choice of Youk for 4 million, or these 2 scrubs for free. If it was about baseball, Youk is still a Red Sox. This wasn’t about production, or salary. This was about needing Youk to no longer be a Red Sock.

      • Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:57 PM

        I’m not sure what you’re basing your point on, though. $3MM (plus $9MM in salary relief) seems like a good amount to save when downgrading from a guy playing like a scrub, who doesn’t fit your roster, to actual scrubs, who do fit your roster. There’s no reason to invent another theory to explain the trade, because it makes financial sense. Otherwise, you’d have to theorize that the Marco Scutaro trade was about him being a clubhouse cancer.

  13. jwbiii - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:16 PM

    The bad news is without Youkilis’ face on here every day, I’m going to have to go back to my mirror to get my daily fix of looking at ugly people.

  14. ndnut - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    From a sock that just started smelling a little after ’05 to one that is crusty smelly dirty no good scum of the earth on the southside of Chicago.

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

      The fuck you talking about?

  15. Jack Marshall - Jun 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Go ahead, tfbuckfutter, cherry pick stats. Aviles has played solid short, hit for power,and is tracking to have about 80 rbi, despite batting leadoff too much. Sweeney gets on base, has saved at least two games I can point to with his glove, and is a terrific 4th plattoon outfielder, which was what he was acquired to be. These guys are so far from being Red Sox problems that they can’t see them with a telescope.

    • skeleteeth - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Agreed. It’s not the bats and gloves that are the reason they find themselves 4 games over .500 @ the end of June and both Sweeney and Aviles have been as big a part of that as any other position player they’ve thrown out there this year.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      You can point to them, but it’s not accurate because his defense has only saved “0.5” games. That’s a quantifiable fact.

      And again, I don’t even have a PROBLEM with Aviles….but he is a middling, average player who is THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD.

      In a most likely lost season what good is he doing the team? Is he going to be on the team the next time they go to the Series? Hell no. Mine the talent you have, or target potential in your trades….but Jesus, stop running out there guys who have long since peaked. If he’s a place holder that’s fine….but don’t act like he’s anything else. He is a middling player who will be gone as soon as a better alternative is found.

      Put another way….you think this team is going to compete with castoffs from Minnesota, Oakland and Kansas City? These are guys AWFUL teams didn’t even want!

      • skeleteeth - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:17 PM

        Wow. 4th best run differential, 2nd most runs scored in MLB with almost every starter and half the rotation having been on the DL yet only 5 games back in the toughest division in the game and this season is a waste? I am actually quite impressed with this team given the circumstances. Sox were 40-31 on June 24th, 2004….

  16. soutsidemike - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    To all of you who are talking “salary relief” How do they save money by paying the WS to have a full time, experienced 3rd baseman? I’n not knocking it, as a WS fan I’m happy to get him. You want a 2nd baseman, we can give you Orlando Hudson cheap!

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      It seems they owe him something like $8 or $9 million for the rest of the year. By sending him and $5.5 million to the White Sox, they save the difference. They were essentially paying him to do nothing as it is and his presence was forcing Adrian Gonzalez to play RF instead of 1B.

      • skeleteeth - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM

        No, Middlebrooks presence was forcing Adrian to right field.

  17. Ari Collins - Jun 24, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    As Proudly mentioned above, it should be noted that not only does Boston save about $2MM this year and $1MM next year, but they also cut their payroll for luxury tax purposes by $8MM (plus $1MM next year). This is actually a fairly big deal, as they were right at the threshold. They could now add a $15MM player halfway through the season without going over the threshold, giving them a much greater ability to add players this year and next.

  18. mornelithe - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Good luck to you Kevin, you’ve been a great defensive and offensive piece on this team for a great deal of time (regardless of the offensive slowdown in the past ~12 months) and you will always receive a warm welcome at Fenway. I truly hope you’re able to rebound, stay healthy, and prove some of the critics in the Boston media wrong. They’re a harsh mistress to deal with.

    Clearing up salary space, and the two people we got in return aside, I’m glad he’s going to get regular playing time again. It sucks that Middlebrooks is so freekin good (insofar that it meant Youk had to ride the bench), but these things happen in all sports.

  19. aceshigh11 - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    Ironically, I was wearing my Youkilis t-shirt today.

    Thanks for everything, Youk, and good luck. I hope that he can gradually get physically healthier and tack on a few more productive years.

    I can understand how anyone who’s not a die-hard Sox fan could dislike Youkilis…he’s quick to anger, gets all pissy at the drop of a hat when he isn’t playing well or doesn’t get the call and to boot, he’s got a super-awkward batting stance (not that something so trivial should matter, but he’s taken a lot of grief for it over the years)…

    …BUT I defy anyone to say they don’t want someone like him on their team. He gives 100% every day, every play. He leaves it all on the field, always dirties his uniform, and has waaay over-achieved these last 5 years given his lack of natural athleticism.

    Just something to think about before the knee-jerk bashing begins.

  20. psousa1 - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    He had a good run was a damn good player but it was time. Middlebrooks has driven in something like 34 runs in 40 games and he is hitting .320. You cannot have the best defensive first baseman in baseball playing RF. Youkilis didn’t have a leg to stand on. I watched his production drop off big since last July.

    I still remember Kevin Millar throwing a fit publically saying “No way I am losing my job to Kevin Youkilis” when Youkilis was the better player.

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