The Chicago White Sox are one of the most aggressive suitors for third baseman Kevin Youkilis this winter, but they're receiving some steady competition from the Philadelphia Phillies for his services, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports.
In an extremely thin market for free agent third baseman, Youkilis is generally considered the cream of the crop despite a year of mixed performance. The veteran struggled badly at the beginning of last season with the Boston Red Sox, but rounded into form after being dealt to the White Sox over the summer.
With free agency looking so dire, Hayes says that many teams appear to be preparing to solve vacancies at third base internally, leaving fewer suitors for Youkilis than one would imagine given the situation. The White Sox won't have an easy time retaining him anyways, though, considering Philadelphia's desire to acquire him with a budget that's fairly large.
Youkilis hit .235/.336/.409 overall last season with 19 homers in 509 plate appearances.