Gordon Beckham traded to Angels
Beckham, in his sixth season with the White Sox, is batting .221 with seven home runs, 24 doubles and 36 RBIs in 101 games. A career .244 hitter, the 27-year-old struggled to replicate the success he had in his rookie season when he hit 14 home runs to go along with career highs in batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.347) and RBIs (63).
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said Beckham will come off the bench against left-handed pitchers. He also said they'll take a look at Beckham at shortstop along with second and third base.
"Not having a great year with the bat, but really wearing out left-handed pitching," Dipoto, who put a claim on Beckham before the trade was worked, told reporters, according to MLB.com. "We feel like it's a real nice platoon advantage for us.
"I think the benefit with our team is that you don't need him to take four at-bats a game, seven days a week. You just need him to be a part of the team."
Beckham has one more year of arbitration eligibility in 2015 before reaching his free-agent years, but the White Sox were expected to move forward with one of a bevy of second-base prospects, with Carlos Sanchez, Micah Johnson and Marcus Semien ready to take over at second base full-time.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn would not identify the potential player to be named later the White Sox would receive from the Angels, only to say that a handful of candidates have been agreed upon by the two teams. The White Sox and Angels are expected to finalize the deal in the offseason.
"This trade, quite frankly, was more about creating an opportunity for some of our young players to come up here, get some playing time and become part of this next core of White Sox players that we have put together over the last several months and are going to continue to work on over the next several months," Hahn said.
Sanchez will replace Beckham on the roster and be available when the White Sox open a three game series at New York on Friday against the Yankees. Hahn confirmed that Semien will be called up when rosters expand in September.
The eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft, Beckham has always been reliable defensively -- he has the second- and third-highest fielding percentages (.9899 in 2012, .9889 in 2011) for a second baseman in team history.
"He's obviously of tremendous character, a great makeup guy, it just didn't work for him," Hahn said. "The big part of this game, as we all know, is mental, and that can be extremely difficult to get past. Perhaps with a change of scenery it becomes easier with the new organization, not the one that drafted him, to become easier on himself or to let go of those expectations a little bit and fulfill that potential. He's obviously still quite young and filled with talent."
Beckham is making $4.2 million this season and is in line for a raise next season before reaching his free agent years with the arrival of the 2016 season. Hahn admitted there were financial considerations to the trade as well, saying the trade "would allow us to reallocate some of those funds to perhaps to more pressing needs elsewhere on the field."