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BOSTON RED SOX WINS IN KEVIN YOUKILIS’ FAREWELL
Wed, 27 Jun 2012 09:37 AM EDT

The Boston Red Sox have traded infielder Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox for utility man Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart. Basketball scores

The American League Central-leading White Sox, who also received cash in the deal, have been looking for a 3rd baseman because Brent Morel has been plagued by back issues.

The Red Sox will absorb all but $2 million of the $7.8 million still owed to Youkilis, sources recounted.

“There is no way we aren’t a better team with Kevin Youkilis,” White Sox captain Paul Konerko said. “He is just too good of a player and has been thru all the wars and is still relatively a young guy. We just have to keep him on the field. If that is the case, it might be one of the bigger steals of the season.”

Will Middlebrooks’ appearance in Boston made Youkilis expendable after a successful 8½-year run with the Red Sox. The versatile All-Star, who can play both corner infield spots, is a career .286 hitter with 133 homers and 563 RBIs.

“I think we were trying to find an answer that worked for everyone,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “Kevin’s been an everyday player since he’s been here, and with the way Middlebrooks has been playing, Middlebrooks needs to be in the lineup. That is pretty clear.”

Middlebrooks is hitting .326, and his sacrifice fly in a 9-4 win over the Atlanta Braves gave him 34 RBIs in his 1st 41 games, the most by an AL player in his 1st 41 games since Wally Joyner had 39 in 1986.

Youkilis has been hampered by a range of injuries the past 2½ seasons. He missed 3 weeks previously this season with back discomfort and was restricted to 120 games in 2011 and 102 in ‘10.

“We were given a good bill of health on him,” White Sox GM Kenny Williams said. “He said he hasn’t felt this good physically for a long period of time. He announced he is really excited to join our club and he has a bit of edge to him, which I like. I cannot tell you precisely what he revealed, but he would like to come in and prove a few individuals wrong.”

Youkilis, who’d been held out of the lineup for 3 straight days, started at 3rd base and hit 6th against the Braves. When he left the game for a pinch runner after hitting a triple in the base of the 7th inning, he got a long-standing ovation, blew a kiss to the sellout crowd at Fenway Park and hugged his squad.

Youkilis finished the game 2-for-4 and was 6-for-14 in his last 4 games with the Red Sox. He leaves Boston with a .287 career average and 133 home runs in 953 career games. He used to be a member of the 2004 and ‘07 championship teams, a 3-time All-Star and a Gold Glover 1st base.

His exit leaves David Ortiz as the only member of the 2004 championship team still with the Red Sox.


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