In what seemed like a surprising move at first, the Los Angeles Angels acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Beckham, 27, was the 8th overall draft pick as a shortstop in 2008 out of the University of Georgia, but hasn’t been the player the White Sox hoped he would be. This season with Chicago, Beckham was only hitting .221/.263/.336 in 390 plate appearances. Although he has hit lefties well, posting a .309/.349/.454 line.
Beckham is a lifetime .244/.306/.374 hitter.
Despite rather sub-par averages with the bat, Beckham does bring a good glove with him. He can play multiple infield positions, making him a prime candidate to be one of the Halos’ main utility infielders. John McDonald and Grant Green have shared that role, with Green also in the outfield at times. The question is which one of them becomes expendable. Likely it’s McDonald. However, Green’s recent back injury could prompt the Angels to put Beckham in his spot for the time being.
In the long run, Beckham figures to be a major upgrade over McDonald, who, despite his wizardry with the glove, does not hit. He has a .149 / .237 / .164 slash line. Beckham would fill the gap with the bat. And even though it’s not the greatest of bats, it’s still almost 80 points higher than the ‘Prime Minister’.
Beckham is also under club control though 2015. So this appears to be another possible ‘help the team now and for the future’ moves by GM Jerry Dipoto.
The Angels will likely clear a 40-man roster spot for Beckham by placing Garrett Richards on the 60-day disabled list. Richards is out for the season with a torn left patella tendon that will need surgery next week.
Before the deal was made, the Angels claimed Beckham off of waivers.