The 2012 White Sox continued their plan of contending for the playoffs while developing young talent, as the South Siders acquired Kevin Youkilis in a trade with the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. The source said Chicago sent infielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, who had recently been sent to Triple-A Charlotte, to Boston in return for Youkilis and cash. Youkilis, 33, figures to move immediately into the starting third-base role vacated by Brent Morel and his ongoing recovery from a lower lumbar strain. Veteran Orlando Hudson, brought to the White Sox on May 22 as a free agent, has started 25 games at third base, the first he's played at that position over his 11-year career.
While the White Sox have a 13-11 record with Hudson in the lineup, he is hitting .167 since coming to Chicago and his defense has been a work in progress. Eduardo Escobar has played 10 games at third and carries a .190 average, while Lillibridge has started six games there and has a .175 mark.
This present campaign has not been a good one for Youkilis, who is a career .286 hitter with a .388 on-base percentage. Youkilis was sidelined for nearly a month by a back strain and has not exactly seen eye-to-eye with new manager Bobby Valentine, while putting up a .233 average with four homers and 14 RBIs. The Boston starting third-base job has been claimed by rookie Will Middlebrooks, making Youkilis expendable. The White Sox hope a change of scenery will bring back the form that made Youkilis a three-time All-Star.
In the final year of a four-year, $41.125 million extension, Youkilis is earning $12 million. He has an option for $13 million for 2013, with a $1 million buyout.