Meet the Red Sox newbies
Over the past week the question has not been will Kevin Youkilis be traded, rather who will he be traded to and for what?
That question was answered Sunday afternoon when the Red Sox dealt Youkilis and $5 million of his $7 million contract to the White Sox in exchange for utility man Brent Lillibridge and right-handed pitcher Zach Stewart.
Lillibridge joined the Red Sox prior to Monday’s game, while Stewart will start out with Triple-A Pawtucket.
The 28-year-old Lillibridge started in 13 games this season with the White Sox, but appeared in 36 games off the bench. He primarily played in the outfield, with a few games at first and third base mixed in.
“I will help whatever way I can,” Lillibridge said Monday in front of his locker, Youkilis’ old one. “I am willing to do whatever it takes, whether it’s in the infield or the outfield.”
Manager Bobby Valentine did not get a chance to meet with Lillibridge before he spoke to the media prior to Monday’s game, but he did see some video.
“I watched some film earlier this afternoon and have seen some statistics,” Valentine said. “He looks like he could be a real contributing factor on a winning team.”
Stewart, meanwhile, was the major piece in the deal despite being sent down to Pawtucket immediately. He is a 25-year-old right-hander who throws fairly hard, and has a big upside.
In Chicago he was primarily a reliever, but the Red Sox plan on making him a starter. He has started 12 games in his three-year major league career.
“We believe he can develop into a good major league starter,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Sunday. “He’s had a good minor league track record. He’s a guy who looks like a major league starter. He needs more time at Triple-A to fine-tune things.”
With Youkilis departed, there is no need for Valentine to juggle the lineup everyday to get playing time for everyone. Valentine said he feels the lineup will be “more stable” with Youkilis gone.
For the time being, it will be thought of as a good trade, simply because the team can now put its best lineup on the field day-in and day-out, and also not have the drama with what the Youkilis situation brought the past few weeks.
But, as for the future, time will tell.
“We’ll see going forward,” Valentine said. “I think that [Cherington] worked as hard as he could to make things as good as they can be for our team here, and going forward.”