White Sox don’t plan on exercising Youk’s $13 million option

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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.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.