The Angels made a trade Thursday, but it wasn’t for a starting pitcher to replace the injured Garrett Richards.
The team acquired veteran utility infielder Gordon Beckham from the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named or cash.
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said Beckham, who will join the Angels in time for Saturday night’s game against the Oakland Athletics, will give the team an extra bat to counter left-handed pitching. The A’s are scheduled to start left-handers Jon Lester on Saturday and Scott Kazmir on Sunday.
Beckham, 27, can play second base, third base and shortstop. He has appeared in 101 games for the White Sox this season, batting .221 (86 for 390) with 24 doubles, seven home runs and 36 runs batted in, but he is hitting .309 (30 for 107) against left-handers.
Beckham’s best seasons in Chicago came as a rookie in 2009, when he hit .270 with 14 homers, 28 doubles and 63 RBIs, and 2012, when he hit .234 with 16 homers, 24 doubles and 60 RBIs.
He also owns two of the top three best single-season fielding percentages by a second baseman in White Sox history, .9899 in 2012 and .9889 in 2011 and was Chicago’s recipient of the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.
Beckham, who makes $4.2 million this season, is entering his final season of arbitration in 2015, and his presence could give the Angels the flexibility of packaging a right-handed hitter such as C.J. Cron, Grant Green or even second baseman Howie Kendrick in a trade for a starting pitcher.
But the chances of acquiring a high-impact arm in August, after the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, is slim.
“Picking up front-of-the-rotation, All-Star guys is not going to happen,” Dipoto said. “Between now and Sept. 1, we’ll be as open as we can be. But we’re realistic about what may be out there.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times