Since I was out and about all day today, I was at the mercy of others to update me on the White Sox-Brewers game and the swirling Kevin Youkilis trade rumors.
When I got the text saying it indeed was Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart being shipped out to Boston for the three time all-star, I thought I was being punk’d and I started looking around at the graduation party I was at for Ashton Kutcher.
Sure, Kevin Youkilis has struggled this season and hasn’t been the healthiest guy around the past few years. And sure, the emerging Will Middlebrooks made him expendable. And sure, everyone knew Youk was on the block, driving down his market value.
However, Kenny Williams robbed Ben Cherington in this trade, at least on paper.
Kevin Youkilis was a solid player for the Boston Red Sox for eight years, winning two World Series rings and putting up good-to-great offensive numbers. Not to mention, he was a fan favorite and a great clubhouse guy who always played the game hard.
Yes, he could be damaged goods, but Boston gave up all of those positives for Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge? A starting pitcher who has given up 10 home runs in 30 innings this season and will now be on his fourth organization, and a utility player? On top of that, Boston is paying most of his contract?
It sounds to me like the older, wiser Williams took the younger and apparently desperate Cherington to school.
It’s a great risk-reward situation for the White Sox. They are getting an experienced player to fill a huge gap at third base. No matter what Youkilis does, he will be an upgrade over Orlando Hudson, who hasn’t really shown in the past month any sort of increase in comfort over there defensively. Hudson even said himself he would have made that trade.
And the White Sox did this while giving up none of their top-tier prospects, which still gives the White Sox a chance in the next five weeks to make another trade, possibly for a starting pitcher.
That’s what makes this trade so great, and it’s why Kenny Williams deserves a big round of applause.
Over the past few seasons, Williams has done a lot of things that may have made you scratch your head. He traded a young, good looking pitcher in Sergio Santos this off-season, traded a stable of prospects for an injured Jake Peavy in 2009, and traded now-ace pitcher Gio Gonzalez … twice.
Now, however, Kenny Williams is not making you scratch your heads. This is a terrific deal for the White Sox.