Yesterday, I thought Twitter was broken. Amongst the normal chatter about the new Arcade Fire album and "did I just see snow?", a stream of quotes from "Groundhog's Day" appeared. And like the movie, trade rumors of Gordon Beckham going to Toronto Blue Jays came up too.
If it seems like you've heard this rumor before, it's because you have. At the 2011 Winter Meetings, the two clubs worked out the trade that sent Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for Nestor Molina. Rumors at the time placed Beckham and John Danks in the discussions as well. Instead, on New Years Day 2012, the Sox followed up with another trade with the Blue Jays. This time they sent Jason Frasor to the Blue Jays for Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye. Webb now seems likely to make the Sox bullpen next year. Jaye jumped three levels last season and is likely a name you'll hear next Spring Training.
At the trade deadline this past July, the Beckham to Toronto rumors came up again. This time, there were fewer details, but the Blue Jays certainly had a hole at second base. Emilio Bonifacio, who came to the Blue Jays in the Mark Buehrle trade with the Marlins, put up a .218/.258/.321/.579 line with Toronto. He was later traded to the Royals for a player to be named later. This lead to a cast of thousands approach at second for Toronto including Maicer Izturis, Ryan Goins, Blue Jays starting third baseman Brett Lawrie, and a thawed out Mark DeRosa.
Wednesday, a fresh rumor about Beckham to Toronto has appeared with a familiar cast of characters. John Danks is mentioned again because he is "close friends with Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle." This is an interesting form of talent evaluation used in Toronto. Toronto also has the cash to take their payroll to $150 million which makes them a perfect match for John Danks contract. The new wrinkle in the rumors is the addition of Hector Santiago. Meanwhile, the article mentions that the Sox are looking for starting pitching which would be a top priority if the Sox trade away both Danks and Santiago. On the Toronto side, Blue Jays pitching prospects Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman are part of the discussions. The speculation is that the White Sox would not have enough to get either, but, going back to the Mike Sirotka - David Wells trade, the Sox seem to make out well in trades with the Blue Jays.
Beckham is eligible for arbitration again this offseason and is fully under White Sox control through the 2015 season. His line of .267/.322/.372/.694 showed improvements over 2012. He also only hit five home runs last season compared to 16 in 2012 although the left hamate removal, sprained left wrist, and right quad strain probably didn't help his power in 2013. Unfortunately, his 2013 line is still a pale imitation of the .270/.347/.460/.808 he put up in his rookie season.
As for the Sox without Beckham, they actually have a gaggle of middle infield prospects that could be in completion for an opening at second base. Marcus Semien and Leury Garcia both spent time with the White Sox last season. The Sox also have Carlos Sanchez who spent a lost season at Charlotte, but a strong Spring could put the 21 year old back in the conversation. Finally, Micah Johnson would be a possibility too, but he probably needs more than five games at Birmingham to be considered a real candidate for the job. Oh, there's Jeff Keppinger too.