BOSTON, MA - JUNE 24: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox waves to the crowd after being taken out of the game during the seventh inning of the interleague game against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park on June 24, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Update: Sounds like it's $5.5 million heading to Chicago, which means the Sox save $1 million this year, and $1 million on the buy out for his 2013 option. This seems like a deal that was forced by circumstances. Not a great return, even considering the "product" in question.
Update: The utility player appears to be Brent Lillibridge of the Marlon Byrd line. He had 13 homers in slightly over 200 plate appearances last year, but otherwise hasn't ever shown any ability at all at the plate. He's one of those "versatile" guys the Sox obsess over for some reason.
Also, Jim Bowden has tweeted that the Sox will be sending cash to the White Sox. No word on how much, but the trade gets worse with every dollar.
Update: According to multiple reports out of Chicago, Zach Stewart and a utility player seem to be the return. After strong early results in the minors, Stewart has struggled to pull it together at the highest levels, posting a 5.92 ERA in 97 major league innings. He's got a low-90s fastball and a slider for an out pitch, as well as a changeup that he's trying to incorporate into his game more and more these days.
My expectation is that this won't go over too well with many observers, but for me it's not the worst possible situation depending on how much salary the White Sox take on. Stewart is a project, but he's got intriguing stuff and could be a late bloomer.
We've all seen this coming for a long time now, with the advent of Will Middlebrooks and Youkilis' deterioration at the plate and in the field, but now it seems the time has finally come. There are still no details on the trade, but Youkilis' name plate has been removed from his locker, and it seems like the deal is done.
Who the Red Sox will get in return remains to be seen, but earlier in the week the name Matt Thornton was being tossed around plenty. The Red Sox are not in need of a reliever, but the White Sox have a barren farm system and, if Thornton is coming over, that likely opens the Sox up to making trades with their overstocked relief corps, and relievers are always gold at the deadline.
We'll keep you up-to-date as we learn more