Move to South Side could be potent spark for Youkilis rebound to come
The Red Sox are going to regret this. Kevin Youkilis for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart is the kind of offer that would get laughed at in fantasy.
"I'll give you two players I just picked up off waivers for your one star."
You've gotten those offers before. The Red Sox fell for it ... and paid Youkilis' contract.
"With the way [Will] Middlebrooks has been playing, Middlebrooks needs to be in the lineup," Red Sox GM Ben Cherington told The Sports Xchange. "Once we came to that conclusion, we talked about it and decided that if there was a trade that made sense for us and for Kevin and everyone involved that we would pursue that."
This is one that won't make sense later, though. The Red Sox didn't even get a starting pitcher they could slot in their DL-hit rotation. Had they dealt Youkilis in the winter, even in the spring, they could have. What a miscalculation of value and an organizational mistake.
Sure, Middlebrooks is the Red Sox's future at the position and Youkilis will head to free agency after his 2013 option is bought out, but the best of Youkilis this year is still yet to come. The streaking Middlebrooks has yet to show his worst.
Youkilis doesn't look like a star with .233 average through 146 at-bats, but Youk is headed to a great hitter's park that provides a change of scenery that will ignite him. Certainly, he will be motivated to show manager Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox what they will be missing. Middlebrooks' .326 with nine homers, 34 RBI and 23 runs in 144 at-bats is the kind of production you expected out of Youkilis. It might be the production you will get out of him on Chicago's South Side.
In fact, expect Youkilis to outproduce the streaking Middlebrooks here on out. Don't be surprised if the numbers flip-flop through the next 150 at-bats.
It is tough to see now, but all streaking young hitters eventually struggle, particularly ones with the strikeout-to-walk rate (38-8) Middlebrooks boasts. Youkilis, the anti-Middlebrooks in the strikeout-to-walk realm, remains an underrated commodity in fantasy. Now is a good time to buy.
Try to find a pair of fantasy nothings off your bench to deal for him, like the White Sox did.
The calendar is heading to July by the end of the week and two June call-ups appear set to finally arrive. Trevor Bauer might be joining the Diamondbacks' rotation Thursday in place of Joe Saunders (shoulder), while first baseman Anthony Rizzo is rumored to be arriving for the Cubs midweek.
To add to the fantasy talent pool, Chase Utley (knees) is due to be back in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday. He is a viable starter in all leagues immediately, even if he is a shell of his former self.