Beckham tweeted just one word, which was "Yolk," as in the name of a popular breakfast place where he was dining in downtown Chicago. But many White Sox fans read it as "Youk," as in the nickname for Kevin Youkilis, who is the veteran third baseman South Side supporters hope general manager Ken Williams can pry loose from Boston.
When asked Saturday evening about the current climate of the trade market, Williams smiled and declined to answer. Instead, he pointed to the field and reinforced the point that his focus remains on the players competing for the White Sox.
But that lack of a direct response certainly doesn't remove Youkilis from the White Sox radar. According to ESPN Insider Jim Bowden, the Red Sox want to trade the recently benched Youkilis to the White Sox, Indians or Dodgers by as early as Saturday. Youkilis, 33, is hitting .225 with four homers and 13 RBIs and was sidelined earlier this season by a strained back, but figures to be an upgrade at the hot corner over the current combination of Orlando Hudson, Eduardo Escobar and Brent Lillibridge, who are filling in for the injured Brent Morel.
Youkilis is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2012 and then a $1 million buyout for 2013, money that the Red Sox probably would have to pick up in order to work a deal with the White Sox. In return, though, the Red Sox might want Major League help as well as top prospects for the future.
A team such as the White Sox, in the unusual position of contending in a highly competitive American League Central while trying to develop talent at the same time, has to decide if what it gives up is worth the return.
"The group we have is a really good group and you don't want to mess up chemistry," Beckham said. "But if the general manager or [manager] Robin [Ventura] thinks that there's a need there for something to make this team better, I think that obviously if that happens, it usually means somebody is leaving.
"If they feel like the give and take is going to be better in the end, then it's something they are going to do. We've got a good ballclub. We've got a lot of talent. We're in it and we've got a chance. Any way they can make the team better, they are going to do it."
Word of the commotion caused by his tweet brought a laugh from Beckham. But current White Sox players and Ventura have enough to worry about without assessing trade rumors.
"Sometimes it just kind of comes in and you hear rumors like this or on TV," Beckham said. "You listen to it at some time. Sometimes you just can't help it. It's not something that a lot of people worry about. Until it happens, there's no sense in worrying about it."
"You can't react to them or respond to them unless they become true," said Ventura of trade rumors. "For me, there's no sense of looking at it any other way until something happens. Then you react to it."