The No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft has never quite lived up to the hype that was surrounding him when he came out of Westminster High School, but Scott Merkin and Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com broke the news that the Blue Jays are looking to trade for him.
MLB.com has learned that the Blue Jays have interest in acquiring the White Sox second baseman, which dates back to last offseason, when the possibility of a trade was first explored. The interest has since been renewed with general manager Alex Anthopoulos intent on upgrading the position.
Beckham is arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason, and the 27-year-old is under team control through the 2015 season.
The White Sox were hoping that they drafted a star when they took a chance on the high school prospect, but he has yet to pan out. With five years in the big leagues under his belt, Beckham's time to prove his worth is running out.
He is coming off yet another disappointing season. A broken hamate bone in his right hand forced him to miss two months of the regular season. He ended up playing in just 103 games and put up some of the worst power numbers of his career.
The White Sox and their fans are growing tired of Beckham's struggles in the pros. He has been one of the biggest disappointments for the team this decade, and some fans are ready to see him go North of the border.
I remember when Gordon Beckham was considered an untouchable player. Sounds like the White Sox brass r wising up. #tradetheman— Andre Michaelson (@wearandtear1014) October 30, 2013
Beckham might be just as ready to leave as the fans are to see him go. He's been struggling in Chicago over the past five years, and a change of scenery could do him some good.
The biggest question facing Beckham is whether or not a move to Toronto could be enough to turn around his career.
The biggest positive for Beckham would be that he would be playing in a dome in Toronto. The Rogers Centre has a retractable dome, and we've seen Beckham excel when he plays inside.
|Gordon Beckham Stats in Domes|
As you can see, Beckham's batting average goes up nearly 60 points when he plays in a dome, and his power numbers increase across the board as well.
The Blue Jays' decision to turn the Rogers Centre into a grass field could have hurt Beckham, should he be traded. However, the new grass won't be installed until 2017, meaning that Beckham's final two years under team control would be spent on artificial turf.
Beckham excels on artificial turf. He bats over .300 and has never been caught stealing on it.
However, Beckham has struggled in the Rogers Centre itself, batting a pathetic .172/.250/.207 with two RBI and zero home runs in nine games over the course of his career.
|Gordon Beckham Stats in Rogers Centre|
While we have a very small sample size to examine, Beckham has yet to play well when he's in Toronto.
If all goes well, Beckham's struggles in his first nine games in the Rogers Centre should be forgotten. There might not be a better stadium for him to play in, as he is at his best in a dome with artificial turf.
Beckham would also benefit from being part of a much more productive lineup. The Blue Jays ranked ninth in runs scored in MLB this year, as opposed to the White Sox ranking 29th.
Here's a look at how both lineups would look with Beckham at second base:
|Batting Order||Toronto Blue Jays||GP||BA/OBP/SLG||HR||RBI|
|1||SS Jose Reyes||93||.296/.353/.427||10||37|
|2||CF Rajai Davis||108||.260/.312/.375||6||24|
|3||RF Jose Bautista||118||.259/.358/.498||28||73|
|4||DH Edwin Encarnacion||142||.272/.370/.534||36||104|
|5||3B Brett Lawrie||107||.254/..315/.397||11||46|
|6||1B Adam Lind||143||.288/.357/.497||23||67|
|7||2B Gordon Beckham||103||.267/.322/.372||5||24|
|8||C J.P. Arencibia||138||.194/.227/.265||21||55|
|9||LF Kevin Pillar||36||.206/.250/.333||3||13|
|Batting Order||Chicago White Sox||GP||BA/OBP/SLG||HR||RBI|
|1||LF Alejandro De Aza||153||.264/..323/.405||17||62|
|2||SS Alexi Ramirez||158||.284/.313/.380||6||48|
|3||1B Paul Konerko||126||.244/..313/.355||12||54|
|4||RF Avisail Garcia||42||.304/.327/.447||5||21|
|5||CF Jordan Danks||79||.231/.313/.369||5||12|
|6||DH Dayan Viciedo||124||.265/.304/.426||14||56|
|7||2B Gordon Beckham||103||.267/.322/.372||5||24|
|8||3B Marcus Semien||21||.261/.268/.406||2||7|
|9||C Josh Phegley||65||.206/.223/.299||4||22|
Being surrounded by guys like Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes would help Beckham drive in more runs, and his production would certainly increase in such a better lineup.
The playing conditions in Toronto should help Beckham, but their impact won't be enough to help him live up to the lofty goals that were set for him when he was drafted in the top 10 in 2008.
As a top 10 pick, Beckham was expected to bat close to .300 and put up solid power numbers. He has done neither to this point, and it would be foolish to expect a trade to Toronto to be enough for him to turn around his disappointing career.
Even if Beckham is playing north of the border next season, don't expect him to turn into the star he was expected to be overnight.