White Sox interested in bringing back Kevin Youkilis

Jonathan Daniel

The Chicago White Sox declined their club option on Kevin Youkilis this week, but they could still be interested in bringing him back to the South Side.

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said on Thursday that his team is still interested in bringing back Kevin Youkilis, according to ESPN Chicago.

Earlier this week, the White Sox declined their $13 million club option for 2013 on Youkilis, making him a free agent. But Hahn made it clear he is still interested in Youkilis:

"I had a real good conversation with Kevin when we informed him we were declining the option the other day," Hahn said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "This is the first time Kevin has had a chance to be out on the open market, and he's got a young family out on the West Coast, and he wants to explore what's out there.

"But he knows there is no confusion in his mind about our desire to bring him back. So we're going to stay on that, stay in communication. It's not a great time to be a club in the free-agent market looking for a third baseman, the player pool is not real deep, so I expect Kevin will be popular, but we're going to be in on that until the end, I think."

Youkilis came to the White Sox from the Red Sox in June of this year. The 33-year-old had spent his entire career in the Red Sox organization, but had fallen out with manager Bobby Valentine and was losing playing time to rookie Will Middlebrooks. Youkilis hit better after the trade, but still managed only a 771 OPS, nearly 100 points off his career mark.

Youkilis will likely be a hot commodity at the hot corner on the hot stove this winter, as the market looks particularly thin at the position. It is highly unlikely he will match the 4-year, $40.63 million extension he signed with the Red Sox before the '09 season, but many teams could see fit to offer up multiple years for his services. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies and his hometown Cincinnati Reds could all be looking for third base help this offseason, so the White Sox could have plenty of competition.

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