Kevin Youkilis has posted an .864 OPS with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 33 games since joining the White Sox. They love him, but that love has limits.
A White Sox official told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe this weekend that the club is unlikely to exercise Youk’s $13 million club option for the 2013 campaign. That’d make him a free agent, but the Pale Hose “didn’t give up much and aren’t assuming much of his 2012 salary” so they’ll be content if he turns out to be merely a rental property.
Chicago enters play Sunday with a 58-48 record, ranking first in the American League Central standings.
Youkilis was batting .233/.315/.377 in 42 games with the Red Sox before they dealt him in exchange for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and righty Zach Stewart. Lillibridge was designated for assignment then traded to the Indians last month. Stewart has a 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 38 1/3 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, or else will play first base, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.
The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.