White Sox: Gordon Beckham is back
Aug 17, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham (15) makes a play against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7-5. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago White Sox fans, either one of your favorite or least favorite players from the past six seasons is back with the team in second baseman Gordon Beckham.
The White Sox announced on Wednesday that the 2008 first-round selection signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the club, and GM Rick Hahn seems happy to obtain a player back he traded this past August.
Here is what Hahn said in a press release:
"“Adding Gordon improves the depth and flexibility of our roster. We are thrilled to have him back. Like Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon brings the ability to play solid defense at multiple positions or play on an everyday basis should the need arise. This also gives Robin the ability to play matchups more effectively when setting the lineup.”"
So does this mean there will be no second baseman battle between Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez this spring? Doubtful … at least that’s the hope, because those two prospects offer much more than this signing.
The White Sox are bringing back a second baseman who batted .226 last season with the team (though he did hit .293 vs. lefties) … a player who was 101-for-446 in 127 games in ’14 before being traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Aug. 21.
Sure, Beckham is very good defensively, but he’s not been the most consistent batter the White Sox have had in recent memory. Most of us know what the White Sox are getting at the plate with Beckham, so hopefully he’s used mostly on defense. Defense wins championships, right?
White Sox fans, what do you think of this one-year contract? To make room for Beckham, the White Sox did designate Dayan Viciedo for assignment, so is that considered an even trade or in Vegas terms … a push?
Yahoo! Sports has a free agent tracker, and if the White Sox were looking for a reserve second baseman, why not go after their 63rd-ranked free agent Rickie Weeks instead of Beckham?
In comparison, Yahoo! Sports has Bonifacio listed 49th, and as for Beckham, he’s not even on the list of 167 players, so there is that to ponder. Maybe this move allows Bonifacio more to play more as a reserve outfielder?
In ’14, Weeks batted .274 with a .357 OBP and .452 SLG (121 games). Compare that to Beckham, who in ’14 batted .226 with a .271 OBP and .348 SLG (127 games), so Weeks was a little better offensively.
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Beckham’s fielding percentage was .981 last season in 534 chances (10 errors) at second base. At second base in ’14, Weeks has a .969 fielding percentage with seven errors in 225 chances. In that aspect, Beckham wins that round.
It is tough to say if this low-risk signing by the White Sox will pan out to amount to much of anything (that is for the White Sox to determine), but it gives us all a little something extra to think about this spring.
Maybe the White Sox have spoiled the fan base with all the previous signings this offseason (it was about time), but in all honesty, this deal is on the cheap for a pro baseball team. This is one deal that will most likely be split in reactions by White Sox fans.