Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show on Monday morning, a day after the Sox traded Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox in exchange for Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge. Cherington said that the Sox were not looking to deal the veteran infielder -- the subject of countless recent trade rumors -- until late last week.
"We got to a point several days ago where we decided this might be the best thing, if there is a trade we could find, it would be the best thing for everyone," Cherington said. "We have so much respect for Kevin, he has played his heart out every game he has been in a Red Sox uniform. So we wanted to see him find an opportunity, and just the reality was that Will Middlebrooks deserves to play and Bobby [Valentine]'s got to put Will in the lineup. It made for a tough situation and we tried to make the best of it for some time, moving Adrian [Gonzalez] to right field and trying to mix and match, but it wasn't ideal. So we decided that if there was a trade we could find that made sense that we would pursue it. We had been working on it for several days and it just so happened that the White Sox one was the one we liked the best."
With Youkilis struggling this season and the emergence of Middlebrooks, it seemed the Sox were in a position of weakness when it came to trying to move the three-time All-Star. Cherington acknowledged that it was far from an ideal situation for making a deal.
"Any time you are trying to trade a player who is not quite performing the way he has in the past and not playing a lot, you're not dealing from a strong position," Cherington admitted. "We were trying to do the right thing for the Boston Red Sox. I think we realized going into this that if we had chosen to trade Kevin Youkilis after the 2009 season the return would have looked a lot different."
Clay Buchholz was put on the 15-day disabled list Sunday after reportedly being hospitalized with a gastrointestinal situation that led to internal bleeding. Cherington was asked if this was a situation that could have long-term ramifications for Buchholz and the Sox.
"Well, we're not that concerned at all in the long run, but he got hit pretty hard by this thing and he was sick enough that it looked like it was going to be a few days before he really felt strong again," Cherington said. "He had this thing that was pretty uncomfortable and laid him out, it's like being really sick. He's got to get back, get fluids, get his weight and strength back and get back to baseball activites. So that's what he'll do over the next several days and knock on wood, unless there is a setback, we expect him to be activated on or shortly after that 15-day period."
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