After much speculation, the Boston Red Sox traded longtime corner infielder Kevin Youkilis and cash to the Chicago White Sox.
In exchange for the 33 year-old infielder, the Red Sox will receive utility-man Brent Lillibridge and starting pitcher Zach Stewart. In addition to Youkilis, the White Sox will also receive cash from Boston to help pay for the final year of his contract. According to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com, the White Sox will receive a little over $5 million from Boston. Youk has a team option for the 2013 season, with a $1 million buyout.
In nine seasons with the Red Sox, Youkilis hit .287/.388/.487 with a .875 OPS in 953 games. However, he's seen a serious decline in production over the past two seasons at the plate - hitting .258/.373/.459 in 2011 and hitting .233/.315/.377 in 42 games in 2012. The three-time American League All-Star helped Boston win a World Series in 2007.
The White Sox will immediately add Youkilis to the lineup card at third base. Although the White Sox are currently atop the AL Central standings by a half a game, their production from the third base position has been awful. Between Brent Morel, Orlando Hudson, Eduardo Escobar, and Brent Lillibridge - White Sox third baseman are hitting a combined .167/.243/.224 with a .466 OPS and one home run. To no surprise, the third basemen for the White Sox rank last in every major offensive category in the big-leagues. Brent Morel has missed a large chunk of time due to a back injury and Hudson was just a warm body filling in.
In return for Youkilis, the Red Sox acquire super utility-man Brent Lillibridge. Lillibridge, 28, has played every position on the field except for catcher at the major league level during his career. In five big-league seasons, he's hit .215/.283/.358 with a .641 OPS in 584 plate appearances. He gives the Red Sox extra depth at every position across the board. He will see time off the bench with the occasional start.
Zach Stewart, 25, has appeared in 31 big-league games across two seasons. As a starter, he's 2-7 with a 6.29 ERA and 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 68 2/3 innings. As a reliever, he's 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA and 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 28 2/3 innings.