The Chicago White Sox were one of three teams rumored to be in on Boston third baseman Kevin Youkilis, and after Sunday's 1-0 extra-inning win over Milwaukee, they proved to be the winners.
Youkilis was acquired, along with cash considerations, from the Red Sox in exchange for infielder Brent Lillibridge and right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart.
The 33-year-old Youkilis is a career .286 hitter with 239 doubles, 133 home runs, 563 RBI and 594 runs scored in 952 games over nine seasons with the Red Sox (2004-12). He was hitting just .225 (32-of-142) with four home runs and 13 RBI in 43 games this season, appearing in 32 games at third base and 13 at first.
The White Sox have had their issues at third base all season, as Brent Morel went down with a back injury, and they tried to catch lightning in a bottle by signing Orlando Hudson to play third, despite the fact that he had never played third at the big-league level before.
"Very simply, I must commend the spirit and the job Orlando Hudson has done for us up to this point," general manager Ken Williams said. "We needed him to fill the position and he came in and did it admirably. In terms of wanting and needing a little bit more stability at the position, as well as adding a little more offense that Kevin can provide, we just feel it's another high on-base percentage guy. We figured we would do it sooner than later."
Youkilis was on the disabled list from May 2-21 with lower back tightness, but he spoke to Williams on the phone and told the GM exactly what he needed to hear.
"We were given a good bill of health from him," Williams said. "I just got off the phone with him and he's very excited to be joining our club. He's got a little edge to him, so he'll fit in well with our club."
Asked what Youkilis said to him, Williams replied, "I can't tell you exactly what he said, but he wants to come in and he wants to prove some people wrong."
As for Hudson, there was no plan on what to do with him, but he can play second, third or short, so it would seem he would stay on the roster as a reserve, especially with Lillibridge out of the mix.
Stewart, who was acquired from Toronto last season, struggled as a reliever and was sent down to Class AAA Charlotte last week, so the Sox didn't really lose any major pieces moving forward.
Youkilis was expected to join the Sox on Monday in Minnesota.