The second base situation in Toronto has been dismal all season. The cast of characters that have included Maicer Izturis, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark DeRosa, and Munenori Kawasaki have not gotten the job done, offensively or defensively. Nor has a brief flirtation with moving Brett Lawrie over, which only served to weaken the defense at third base.
So it is understandable that the Blue Jays have done what they can to leave no stone unturned in their quest to improve the keystone.
That’s why it is understandable that a bit of excitement in Blue Jays land rang out when Ken Rosenthal took to Twitter and confirmed that Toronto and the Chicago White Sox had briefly discussed second baseman Gordon Beckham earlier this summer.
I stress the words “earlier”, “had”, and “briefly”.
Those discussions likely took place sometime after Beckham missed nearly all of April and May with a broken hamate bone, but according to Rosenthal, they never had much traction.
Since returning from the injury, Beckham has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance, sporting a .327 average, 2 home runs, and a .791 OPS in 39 games and 156 plate appearances since returning in June.
However, aside from the extra power component, its hard to see how much of an upgrade Beckham would have been, at least offensively. He’s a career .251 hitter with a .700 OPS, whereas the incumbent Maicer Izturis is a career .271 hitter with a .710 OPS.
Defensively, it would be a different story. Beckham has played to a 4.2 UZR over the last three seasons at second base. Meanwhile, Izturis has played to a -1.1 UZR and has struggled immensely on Toronto’s turf this season. Obviously, Beckham is the stronger defensive player, but he’s still a far cry from a great defensive second baseman.
That all said, this is really a moot topic for Rosenthal, hence myself, to bring up. Beckham has not played a game in nearly a week after tweaking his injured wrist last week, an injury that sounds pretty bad when the player himself says, “ligament came off the bone”.
But then again, the Blue Jays are not likely to make many moves to improve this year’s squad, so Beckham wouldn’t be on the table anyway. However, that doesn’t mean his name won’t come up again this winter, although one would hope that Alex Anthopoulos would have better targets in mind.