(CBS) — The end of second baseman Gordon Beckham’s once-promising White Sox career will be remembered for so much promise that never came to fruition.
Beckham hit .244 with 61 home runs and 276 RBIs in his five-plus years in Chicago before being traded to the Angels on Thursday afternoon for a player to be named later or cash.
Originally, Beckham made a big splash on the White Sox scene, hitting his way to the Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2009 as he batted .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in 103 games after an early June call-up.
Beckham never reached those combined numbers again in any one season since his rookie campaign.
“You want to give everybody a fair opportunity,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “That is especially true for a guy you drafted and developed. He had success at the big-league level, and you want to expand on that potential. With the 2,900 at-bats he had in a White Sox uniform, I think we are all very comfortable we did give him that chance.”
Beckham began his major-league career as a third baseman, moving to second base in 2010. He holds the second- and third-best fielding percentages at the position for individual seasons. Most baseball scouts that I have talked with believe Beckham turns the double play and has as much range as any second baseman in the game.
The White Sox will get back a player to be named later from a small pool of agreed upon players or cash considerations in the trade with the Angels. Hahn wanted to open up the second base job to a group of young organization players that includes Carlos Sanchez and Marcus Semien.
“This gives us the next six weeks to try and figure out a plan for these players and Micah Johnson to play in the big leagues and be around our coaches,” Hahn said. “It also provides us a little more financial freedom.”
Sanchez will take Beckham’s roster spot. Johnson has been shut down for the season with a hamstring injury.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.