BOSTON (CBS) – The Red Sox traded veteran infielder Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox on Sunday.
The Red Sox also sent $5.5 million to cover the remaining $7-plus million on Youkilis’s contract, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported.
“It’s an emotional time for everyone, for Kevin, for his teammates, because Kevin’s been here a long time and has been a great player. He played hard every inning he’s been out there,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said after Sunday’s game.
In return, the Red Sox acquired pitcher Zach Stewart and utility infielder Brent Lillibridge.
Stewart, who was most recently with the White Sox Triple-A affiliate, is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA this season in 30 innings at the major league level. The 25-year-old has also pitched in the Blue Jays and Reds organizations.
Lillibridge, meanwhile, is hitting .175 with two RBI in limited action. The 28-year-old has played at first base, third base, left field and center field this season.
Youkilis started at third base in his final game with the Red Sox, going 2-4. In his last at bat, Youkilis tripled in the seventh inning.
Manager Bobby Valentine then pulled Youkilis for a pinch runner, allowing him to receive a standing ovation from the crowd at Fenway. Youkilis tipped his helmet and blew a kiss to the crowd, and even took a curtain call before heading into the clubhouse.
In an interview with WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche before Sunday’s game, Youkilis said the trade rumors have been tough on his family.
Listen to the interview here:
“Your family is always with you and supportive, whether you’re a baseball player or not. It’s a little tough. My wife’s pregnant right now, and is back in California now because we don’t know what’s going on here. I couldn’t leave her here in Boston alone,” said Youkilis.
The 33-year-old Youkilis is hitting .233 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI this season.
The trade of Youkilis opens the door for Will Middlebrooks, who is hitting .326 with 9 HR and 34 RBI this season. He will now start at third base on a full-time basis.
The trade also allows Adrian Gonzalez to return to first base permanently. He had been playing some right field to give Youkilis, Middlebrooks and David Ortiz the opportunity to hit with him in the same lineup.