Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bosox ship fan favorite Youkilis to White Sox

BOSTON — Kevin Youkilis took off his batting helmet, waved to the crowd and blew a kiss to his adoring fans.

A favorite at Fenway Park for so long, he wanted a final chance to say goodbye.

The Red Sox traded away the hard-nosed Youkilis on Sunday, sending the three-time All-Star infielder and cash to the White Sox for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and RHP Zach Stewart.

"(Manager) Bobby (Valentine) wanted him to have that moment of walking off the field," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said.

A member of Boston teams that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007, Youkilis, 33, had seen his playing time drastically cut lately. He now joins AL Central-leading Chicago, which wanted a regular third baseman.

"I just got off the phone with him, he's very excited to join our club and he's got a little edge to him that I like," White Sox GM Kenny Williams said. "I can't tell you exactly what he said, but he wants to come in and prove some people wrong."

Youkilis had a rousing end to his days with the Red Sox.

After hitting an RBI triple in the seventh inning of a 9-4 win over the Braves, he was lifted for a pinch-runner. Longtime pal Nick Punto came out to replace him and the pair hugged.

Youkilis saluted the crowd and received a standing ovation. His teammates, coaches and Valentine were on the top step of the dugout cheering, and they urged Youkilis to take a curtain call.

Youkilis' time in Boston became limited because of injuries and poor play. Back problems forced him onto the disabled list in late April, and in 42 games he's batting .233 with a .315 on-base percentage and a .377 slugging percentage, which would be career worsts.

His replacement in the lineup, rookie Will Middlebrooks, is hitting .326 with a .365 on-base percentage and a .583 slugging percentage in 41 games.

Youkilis, who can play both corner infield spots, is a career .286 hitter with 133 homers and 563 RBIs. Known as the "Greek God of Walks," he also has a .388 on-base percentage.

In other Red Sox news, RHP Clay Buchholz went on the 15-day disabled list after being hospitalized with what Valentine called a "gastrointestinal issue."

WHDH-TV in Boston indicated that Buchholz is dealing with intestinal bleeding, possibly caused by taking too much anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.

Cherington said the issue is not serious and Buchholz should be fine.

CANCER CLAIMS COACH: Padres bullpen coach Darryl Akerfelds, who pitched for five seasons in the majors, died from pancreatic cancer. He was 50.

UTLEY TO RETURN: Phillies All-Star 2B Chase Utley, on the disabled list all season because of a degenerative issue in his left kneecap, appears likely to be activated Wednesday. Utley played a second straight game at second base for Class A Clearwater on Saturday and is expected to play a rehab game Tuesday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

ATHLETICS: RHP Brandon McCarthy went on the 15-day DL with a recurring shoulder strain retroactive to Wednesday.

D'BACKS: RHP Trevor Bauer, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft and one of the team's top prospects, is expected to be called up from Triple-A Reno to make his major-league debut Thursday against the Braves.

METS: Closer Frank Francisco went on the 15-day DL with a strained muscle on his left side, and SS Ruben Tejada returned to the lineup after missing seven weeks with a leg injury.

PADRES: RHP Anthony Bass went on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation.


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