Sunday, June 24, 2012
Players waiting to see if Sox add Youkilis
By Bruce Levine
While Chicago White Sox management continues to monitor the Kevin Youkilis trade talks, the players and manager Robin Ventura can only go about their business and wait for a decision to be made.
“You hear [the rumors] and guys will sit around and talk about [trades],” Ventura said. “It is just like being a player. You can’t react to them or respond to them unless they come true.”
The impact of changing teams for a veteran player like Youkilis and the potential disruption of a White Sox 25-man roster that has been near the top of the division all year creates a sensitive juggling act for the White Sox front office. Baseball, like any other business, is based on results and the Sox have received little production from third base this season.
“He leaves everything on the field,” Sox right fielder Alex Rios said of Youkilis. “He plays the game the way it should be played with a lot of fun and passion. He gives it his all.”
Injury and attrition have taken a toll on the 33-year-old Boston infielder, who has been in the Red Sox organization his entire career.
“It is not difficult to leave, but it is traumatizing to get to know a whole new team in the middle or end of a season,” said Rios, who was picked up on waivers from Toronto on Aug. 10, 2009. “If you get out of a place where they don’t want you and move to a more positive place that does want you it is refreshing.”
In the case of Youkilis , moving away from a new manager who has had to be the bearer of bad news for him since spring training should make the transition to a city like Chicago much easier.
“It is very different when you go to a new team and it will take [Youkilis] a couple of weeks to adjust before you feel totally comfortable in your new surroundings,” Rios said.
The White Sox players seem to appreciate the fact that Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is considering spending money on new players in a season in which the team is not drawing many fans through the turnstiles .
“The thing to do for us is to wait and see what happens,” pitcher Jake Peavy said. “It is nice to hear [the team will spend] but if it doesn’t happen we feel we have enough here to get it done. But if they see fit that we need to make a move to get better, I think everybody in here would welcome that and be excited.”
Peavy was a trade deadline addition to the Sox on July 31, 2009, coming from the San Diego Padres in exchange for four players.
“[Management is] no different than we are,” Peavy said. “They believe that we have a chance to get this thing done. It is always nice when your owner [helps out] but right now we are excited about what is here. If there is a change we will welcome it.”
Orlando Hudson, who was picked up in May to shore up third base, has improved at the position and worked hard to get better. However, he is not the answer to the slugging and run production a hitter like Youkilis can supply.
“They are the type of front office that are always trying to make us better,” second baseman Gordon Beckham said. “If they see a position player or pitcher that can help us they are going to do it.”