Kevin Youkilis sent to White Sox for Zach Stewart, Brent Lillibridge

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The White Sox announced after Sunday’s game that they’ve acquired Kevin Youkilis from Boston in exchange for right-hander Zach Stewart and utilityman Brent Lillibridge.

The Red Sox are also sending $5.5 million in cash to help cover Youkilis’ salary, according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.

“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 will take over at the hot corner for the White Sox. Brent Morel, who opened the season with the job, is out with a back injury and there is no timetable for his return. He was struggling mightily anyway, and he’ll likely be optioned to Triple-A once healthy.

The Red Sox are now committed to Will Middlebrooks at third, and they’ll see if Stewart and Lillibridge can help in lesser roles. Stewart, 25, had a 6.00 ERA in one start and 17 relief appearances for the White Sox this season. He’s to join the rotation at Triple-A Pawtucket for now. Extremely homer-prone up to this point of his major league career — he’s allowed 21 in 97 1/3 innings — he figures to benefit from getting out of U.S. Cellular Park. While Fenway is still a hitter’s park, it’s not a home run park.

Lillibridge was outstanding in his bit role last year, hitting .258/.340/.505 with 13 homers in 186 at-bats. This year, he’s returned to previous form, with a .175 average, no homers and 26 strikeouts in 63 at-bats. On the plus side, he’s a good defensive outfielder, and he’s capable of playing anywhere in the infield, though he’s well below average at second base and short.

Youkilis, who was drafted by Boston back in 2001, went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple Sunday in his final game for the Red Sox. He’s hitting .233/.317/.377 in 146 at-bats this season.

 

Read more: Directionless Red Sox hope for addition by subtraction

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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