The Red Sox have traded infielder Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox for minor-league pitcher Zach Stewart and utilityman Brent Lillibridge. The Red Sox will be paying $5.5 million of what remains on Youkilis' $12.5 million contract for '12. Stewart, who has two options left, will report to Triple-A Pawtucket, while Lillibridge, who is out of options, is expected to join the Red Sox Monday.
According a source, the Indians, Dodgers and White Sox were considered the finalists for Youkilis' services as of Saturday night, with the White Sox separating themselves
Youkilis was pulled from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the White Sox Sunday in the seventh inning after hitting a two-out triple, being replaced by Nick Punto. The two players embraced in the middle of the diamond before Youkilis was greeted with hugs from a multitude of teammates in front of the home dugout.
After the game players said they had been informed Youkilis would be removed with a trade with the White Sox on the verge of being worked out. By the time the media entered the clubhouse following the game, the nameplate over Youkilis locker had been removed.
Youkilis played nine seasons for the Red Sox, totaling a .286 batting average and .874 OPS. He also participated in 29 postseason games, hitting .306 with six homers and a .944 OPS.
"I think it was just instincts. When they call you off the field like that it's usually something," said an emotional Punto of his on-field embrace with Youkilis. "We've been friends a long time, probably 10 years. I know how much blood, sweat and tears he has thrown into this organization. I think for me it's kind of a goodbye. We haven't been teammates, but we've been friends for a long time. I think for the sake of baseball, it's always sad to see someone go like that.
"After he got that ovation in the first inning we were sitting next to each other and he goes, 'Man, it was hard to hit after that. That felt pretty good.' He hasn't been feeling too great about himself this season. But not too many Boston Red Sox players have two world championships. He was a heck of a player for this organization."
Stewart is a 23-year-old former third-round pick of the Reds in the 2008 draft. The 6-foot-2 righty was pitching for the Triple-A Charlotte, who scratched the pitcher from his scheduled start Sunday. He had spent the majority of the 2012 season with the White Sox, last pitching June 18 when he allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs.
In 18 appearances with the White Sox this season (just the one start), Stewart totaled a 6.00 ERA, striking out 16 and walking four in 30 innings. He was acquired by the White Sox last season in their trade for pitcher Edwin Jackson, having originally joined the Blue Jays organization in their trade of Scott Rolen to the Reds in 2009.
The 28-year-old Lillibridge has played both the outfield and infield this season, hitting .175, with a .422 OPS over 48 games with the White Sox in '12.
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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