The White Sox just got a lot better, and it's not just about the production Kevin Youkilis will bring. But that's where it begins.

Almost every scout who has watched Youkilis this season believes he still has plenty of baseball left. He's only 33 years old. That number may surprise you, because he has been on baseball's biggest stage so often, it feels like he has been around forever.

There obviously are some questions. He's a career .286 hitter, but has been a shadow of that the last two seasons. He's hitting .233 this season and has looked overmatched at times. The White Sox are taking something of a leap of faith that there's a lot more there.

Considering their third basemen began the day hitting .167 with a .243 on-base percentage and one home run in 246 at-bats, the White Sox don't need Youkilis to be superman for him to be an upgrade.

With the Tigers having been unable to take control of the American League Central, this season has become an opportunity for the rest of the division.

At a time when both the Tigers and White Sox need more offensive punch, the White Sox made the first move in acquiring Youkilis for a power arm (Zach Stewart) and a utility player (Brent Lillibridge).

It was a deal the Red Sox had to make. For one thing, it opens up consistent playing time for rookie Will Middlebrooks. That they're getting two serviceable pieces back (and paying a portion of Youkilis' contract) is a bonus. Now, both their lineup and clubhouse should stabilize.