Blue Jays Free Agent Targets: Is Gordon Beckham an Option?


The Toronto Blue Jays have been busy. But, they’ve still not addressed one area of glaring need- second base. There has been lots of speculation about what the Blue Jays COULD do, but very little in the way of actual news has made it into the public forums. Given that, if the season would start today, the second baseman would come from within the organization.

Yes, I realize, this off season is far from over. But, depending how GM, Alex Anthopoulos spends resources the rest of the way, we just may have to consider one of the options that Jays Journal’s Stephen Wood already explored. The way the roster is shaking out, starting Maicer Izturis may be the best option. 

Live Feed

Orioles Series Preview: Battling the Blue Jays Once More
Orioles Series Preview: Battling the Blue Jays Once More /

Birds Watcher

  • Orioles vs. Blue Jays Prediction and Odds for Friday, September 16 (Toronto is Getting Hot at Right Time)Betsided
  • MLB Probable Pitchers for Friday, September 16 (Who's Starting for Every MLB Team?)Betsided
  • MLB Weather Report for Friday, September 16 (What's the Forecast for Every MLB Team and Matchup Today?)Betsided
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hoping for long term deal with Toronto Blue JaysCall to the Pen
  • Vlad Jr. is clearly still salty he lost AL MVP to Shohei OhtaniFanSided
  • Unless, they go the free agent route. If they do decide to spend big to fill left field and the bullpen, then they still could find cheap alternatives. Yesterday, we explored Alberto Callaspo as an option. It is safe to say that he would not be an upgrade over Izturis, though. Another possibility might be Gordon Beckham.

    Word is that he will likely be non-tendered by the Angels. He is believed to see $5M in 2015 and after a (very) down season in 2014, the Angels may not see the value there. I wondered if they are right.

    The 28 yr old is coming off a season split between the White Sox and Angels where he hit .226/.271/.348/.618 with 9 HR and 44 RBI. He did hit 27 doubles, though. While his .226 average may seem low, it is actually not far off from his career average. Part of his struggles may be explained by a low .255 BABIP. Although, that is not actually that low if you look at his ML career numbers. It is actually well within average for him.

    His offensive splits are not that great, either. Versus left handed hitters, one would hope to see something greater than .293. But against righties, one would expect to see better than .203. According to, in 2014, Beckham hit an amazing .684 on line drives and .336 on hits to center. Yet, he hit the fewest line drives of his career at 15.1%. So, if he’s going to be successful, he’d have to focus more on line drives up the middle. Granted, one season does not predict the future, but it is interesting to note. 

    More from Toronto Blue Jays News

    For comparison, Iztruis hit .286 (he was helped out by a .323 BABIP), is a switch hitter who hit .238 from the left side against righties and .357 from the right side against lefties in his VERY small 2014 sample. The year before, he hit .236 (.225 against RHP/ .259 against LHP) While Beckham’s numbers don’t look so amazing, Izturis is not exactly lighting it up, either. Perhaps what tips the scales is that Beckham walked just 22 times in 127 games and struck out 81 times. Izturis (in 2013) walked 27 times in 107 games with just 38 strike outs. That tells me that both walk very little, but Izturis is going to put the ball in play rather than striking out. I hate strike outs; they’re wasted outs.

    Well, if Beckham’s bat is not really all that appealing, his glove must be, right? Um…yeah, about that. In 2014, as a second baseman (where he played the bulk of his games), his UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 innings) is -2.7! As well, he made just 96.9% of routine plays. This number has decreased over the last 3 years. Izturis posted 18.2 UZR/150 in 2014 (again, SMALL SAMPLE), but an ugly -26.7 UZR/150 in 2013 at 2B. Yikes. But, he made 100% (2014) of routine plays and 98.5% in 2013.

    So, before we go jumping on a possibly available option (the Angels haven’t officially dismissed Beckham yet) for second base, we should really ask ourselves if he is any better than what the Blue Jays already have. We shouldn’t be so quick to jump on every option. This is particularly true with Gordon Beckham. He would not really be an upgrade over Maicer Izturis. In fact, he would probably be about the same. Considering, the Blue Jays are paying Izturis $3M in 2015 it wouldn’t make sense to pay upwards of $5M for the same thing.