MLB Trade Speculation: 6 Potential Landing Spots for Gordon Beckham

Derek CooleyCorrespondent IMay 30, 2011

MLB Trade Speculation: 6 Potential Landing Spots for Gordon Beckham

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    NEW YORK - MAY 02:  Gordon Beckham #15 of the Chicago White Sox bats against the New York Yankees on May 2, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 12-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    I'm not too sure if trading Gordon Beckham is at the top of Kenny Williams' to-do list, but if the Chicago White Sox continue down the path that they have been on, not one player is safe.

    Ever since entering the Major Leagues in 2009 and being named MLBPA and Sporting News' American League Rookie of the Year, Gordon's stats have been on the decline.  Beckham's batting average has declined by about 20 percentage points each year so far, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is climbing at an unhealthy rate.

    The thing about Gordon Beckham is that he was a first round draft pick for the White Sox (8th overall) and he is still only 24 years old.  He has shown signs of brilliance at the plate and in the field at his young age, and may just need more MLB grooming.

    However, the White Sox are currently 24-31, which puts them nine and a half games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.  The season is still young, but if the White Sox continue to struggle, they can fully become sellers by the trade deadline.

    General Managers around baseball are licking their chops at the possibility of Gordon Beckham selling "low" because of his team and stat-line.  I don't condone the trade of Gordon, but if White Sox GM Kenny Williams sees a deal that sparks his interest, he is not afraid to move the Chicago second baseman.

    If that is the case, here are the six teams that would heavily pursue Gordon Beckham.

Atlanta Braves

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    PITTSBURGH - MAY 25:  Alex Gonzalez #2 and Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves collide when trying to both make a play at second base during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 25, 2011 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Atlanta would seem like an ideal fit for Gordon Beckham.

    Gordon was born and raised in the Peach State, and starred on the diamond for the University of Georgia.

    The signing of Dan Uggla to play second base isn't working out too well in Atlanta.  He is batting a measly .178 and has played a less than stellar second base for the Braves.

    Beckham would be a cheaper option, and could possibly attract some more fans to watch the hometown boy play for the Braves.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 23: Chase Utley #26 of the Philadelphia Phillies grounds out in his first game back this season during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on May 23, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowel
    Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

    Wilson Valdez doesn't seem to be a long-term solution for the Philadelphia Phillies if Chase Utley cannot stay healthy.

    A trade for Gordon Beckham could prove genius for the Phillies given Utley's health issues, and could also be a serviceable utility-player.

    Gordon also has the ability to play third-base and short-stop.  Gordon excelled at the hot corner in his rookie season with the White Sox, and played short-stop his whole career prior.  

    These two positions are getting up there in age for the Phillies, with SS Jimmy Rollins being 32 and 3B Placido Polanco being 35 years old.  

    Adding Beckham at a lower price than previously expected would be a move towards the future in Philadelphia. 

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    HOUSTON - MAY 24:  Tony Gwynn, Jr. #10, Jerry Sands #47 and Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their win over the Houston Astros 5-4 at Minute Maid Park on May 24, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Aaron Miles is not having a terrible year for the L.A. Dodgers, but he's 34 years old and hasn't played a full season at second base since St. Louis in 2008.  

    Back-up Ivan De Jesus has been less than spectacular in his role, and he may not be ready for any kind of extended role with the Major League club.

    Gordon Beckham would man the second base position for years to come, and continue to improve in L.A.  

    A trade for Beckham at the deadline may not push to the top of the division or to the playoffs, but grabbing him when he's available is a definitive addition for the future.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    PHOENIX - MAY 20:  Kelly Johnson #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a play on a ground ball against the Minnesota Twins at Chase Field on May 20, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Norm Hall/Getty Images

    The Arizona Diamondbacks...a buyer you say?

    Arizona, out of nowhere, is in first place in the NL West.  If they want to stay there and finish ahead of contenders such as Colorado and San Francisco, they need to make a move.

    The Diamondbacks could definitely be interested in Gordon Beckham's services at second base.

    Their current second baseman, Kelly Johnson, is only batting .210 and is all of the sudden nearing the age of 30.

    The Diamondbacks have a multitude of prospects stockpiled, and Beckham would be an improvement at the plate and in the field for Arizona.

    GM Kenny Williams has made trades with Arizona before (Edwin Jackson, Javier Vazquez), so don't rule out a call from Arizona General Manager Kevin Towers.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 18: Jon Jay #15, Allen Craig #21 and Tyler Greene #27 all of the St.Louis Cardinals celebrate a victory over the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium on May 18, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Do you think the Cardinals could land Gordon Beckham in addition to a hometown pitcher like Mark Buehrle in a trade with the Chicago White Sox?

    It is a high possibility, considering Buehrle has said before that if he were to be traded, his top destination is his hometown of St. Louis.

    More importantly for the Cardinals, landing Gordon Beckham would sure up second base for the remainder of the season and years to come.

    Nick Punto has been on and off the Disabled List, and the combination of Skip Schumaker and Tyler Green have not been working.

Detroit Tigers

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 11: Jhonny Peralta #27 and Ryan Raburn #25 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate a two-run home run by Peralta against the Minnesota Twins during in the eighth inning of their game on May 11, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    The inner-division rival Detroit Tigers would be a perfect suitor for Gordon Beckham.

    For Detroit, however, the price would be significantly higher because they play not only in the same league as the Chicago White Sox, but they both reside in the AL Central.  

    You cannot acquire a desired player from a inner-divisional team without ponying up a little more than wanted.

    The Tigers have been using a combination of Ramon Santiago, Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes at second base. Santiago is the only one that is batting better than Gordon Beckham, but he has also split his at-bats with the other two.

    Gordon would come in and be the everyday second baseman right away for Detroit.  The most valuable piece Detroit would be getting in the deal is Gordon's glove.

     The Tigers have gotten plenty of offense, but Beckham can sure up the middle of their infield and possibly terrorize his former club for years to come.