In what appears to be a precautionary move, the Seattle Mariners took a low-risk chance on veteran infielder Gordon Beckham. The 30 year old veteran will provide organizational depth at the second and third base positions. Beckham has also seen some innings at shortstop in his career.
Source: Gordon Beckham to #Mariners on minor-league deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 31, 2017
Gordon Beckham Inks Deal with Seattle Mariners
The Mariners already have a solid infield with Robinson Cano at second, Jean Segura at short, and Kyle Seager at third. Each of these players hit very well, something Beckham hasn’t done much of in his career. Beckham’s best season offensively came in 2009 with the Chicago White Sox. The utility man hit .270/.347/.460 that year, which also came as his rookie campaign.
Seattle is facing the expectations of a potential playoff appearance this coming season. The Mariners haven’t made the postseason since losing the ALCS in 2001 to the New York Yankees. The core is aging, and this season may prove to include a scrap for a wildcard spot, so any amount of depth is vital. The AL East is a tough division for 2017 with the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros threatening.
A plus on signing Beckham is he has some recent postseason experience with the Los Angeles Angels in 2014. The chances of them needing his services at the major league level are likely, for now.
Seattle is a bit stretched at the MLB level to start the season. Shawn O’Malley will start the season unavailable. Taylor Motter is slated as the backup option for first, second, and shortstop. Danny Valencia is the opening day first baseman and the second option at third.
Though Beckham owns a career .240/.303/.370 line, he eases the strain if needed for a team who is trying to keep their postseason vision alive. He was used to a great capacity with the Atlanta Braves the past couple seasons as a bench bat and utility man, and is certainly not the worst option to use a minor league deal on.