The White Sox have been identified Saturday as one of three teams in pursuit of Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, according to multiple reports.
ESPNs Jim Bowden reports the Red Sox hope to trade the veteran by Saturday to the White Sox, Cleveland Indians or Los Angeles Dodgers. A three-time All-Star and career .286 hitter, Youkilis missed significant time earlier this season with lower back issues and has lost playing time to rookie Will Middlebrooks.
Youkilis is hitting .225 with four home runs in 142 at-bats.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura acknowledged he has heard some rumblings, but didnt get into specifics other than to say he would address a trade only if it were to happen.
You hear (rumors) and guys will sit there and talk about stuff, Ventura said. But its just like being a player: you cant react to them or respond to them unless they become true. Then you react to them. For me theres no sense of looking at it any other way until something happens with somebody. Then you react. I havent talked to my sources today. You talk about different things and, especially the last week, weve had guys go on the DL and with (Kosuke Fukudome) being designated. The other stuff, you wait and react to when it happens.
Youkilis could provide relief for a lineup which has struggled to produce against left-handed pitchers.
The White Sox are hitting .233 against left-handed pitching this season with 22 homers in 592 at-bats. The teams OPS versus lefties is .700 compared with a .735 against right-handers, against whom the White Sox are hitting .259 with 63 homers in 1,791 at-bats.
Youkilis has a career .299 average against lefties with a .928 OPS compared with .282 average and .853 OPS against right-handed pitchers.