On June 25, 2012, news that Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis had been traded to the White Sox in exchange for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Steward quickly surfaced. Buster Olney from ESPN The Magazine, reported that Derek Jeter had previously stated that it would be difficult to envision the Yankees- Red Sox rivalry without Youkilis.
Little did Jeter know, he would be welcoming Youkilis to his side of the diamond merely six months later.
Maybe it’s just me and my reluctance to come to the grips that the fierce rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox has reached the end of an era, but I would have never imagined to see Kevin Youkilis, an object of jeers from ruthless Yankee fans for nearly decade, wearing pinstripes.
I guess that’s a sight that Yankee fans will have to get used to.
Friday, December 14, the Yankees officially announced the one-year, $12 million deal that landed Kevin Youkilis of the Chicago White Sox a spot on the 2013 Yankees roster, replacing the injury stricken Alex Rodriguez.
Youkilis, 33, began the 2012 season with the Red Sox, and was acquired by the Chicago White Sox on June 24, 2012. Although he spent some time on the disabled list with a lower back strain from April 29 through May 22, Youkilis finished the season batting .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs in 122 games.
As reported by Bryan Hoch, Youkilis was surprised at the Yankees’ persistence. “I was very humbled and amazed that the Yankees jumped into the picture,” Youkilis said in an interview. “I never thought I’d be on the other side of the rivalry.”
Brian Cashman, Yankees’ general manager, stated that signing Youkilis, a nine year veteran, was “an important acquisition, because he cushions the blow of losing Alex.”
Rodriguez is expected to undergo surgery on his left hip in mid-January. The Yankees anticipate the return of Rodriguez somewhere between the months of June and July, and he is likely to spend most of the season as the designated hitter.
The Yankees will open the 2013 season at home on April 1, 2013, taking on the Boston Red Sox. All eyes will be on Youkilis as he runs on the field, and takes his position at third base on the other side of the rivalry. Youkilis can only hope that with time, he will receive a positive reception from the fans in the Bronx, and help the Yankees in achieving their 28th World Series championship in franchise history.