8/23/2014 12:13 A.M. ET
Konerko hopes Beckham blossoms with Angels
By Jamal Collier and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Paul Konerko had traveled ahead of the White Sox, so he was already in New York when he heard the news that second baseman Gordon Beckham had been traded to the Angels on Thursday.
Konerko exchanged a couple of texts with Beckham, to whom he was friend and mentor. Even though it felt like Beckham's days with the White Sox were numbered, this still came as a bit of a surprise.
"Usually when you get through July, you don't see it happening quite as much," Konerko said. "I think it was probably inevitable that he was going to be with another team next year anyway, so it's just kind of a jump-start to that for him. I look at it as a positive. Where he's at in his career right now, the way it had unfolded in the last couple of years, this can only be a good thing for him."
Beckham always carried the high expectations of being selected eighth overall by the White Sox in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, expectations that were only heightened by his stellar rookie campaign in 2009, when he batted .270 with 14 homers, 28 doubles and 63 RBIs and finished fifth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
But after that season, Beckham never found his groove at the plate. In 101 games with the White Sox this season, he had a slash line of .221/.263/.336, with seven homers and 36 RBIs.
"It's always tough when a guy comes up right away, spent really no time in the Minor Leagues, and then he was pretty much doing everything he was in college on a Major League field," Konerko said. "It's easy to expect that's going to happen, that's going to keep happening. That's usually not the case."
The trade is expected to give the White Sox a chance to promote some of their talent in the Minors and give Beckham, who was in his sixth season with Chicago, a breath of fresh air that comes with a change of scenery
"Sometimes you play and let the baggage you have here, that consistently being with one team, your mind can play tricks on you where you're going up there trying to get 200 hits in one at-bat," manager Robin Ventura said. "Now, he's going to a place that's new. He can still be a good player. He's talented."
The White Sox are certainly going to miss Beckham's glove. He is regarded as one of the top defensive second baseman in the league, but Konerko added that he would miss having Beckham's personality around as well.
"He's a great person, great kid," Konerko said. "You want that guy to do well. You want him to succeed because he's going to do right by it."
Abreu happy to see fellow Cuban Castillo in bigs
NEW YORK -- Jose Abreu was excited to see fellow Cuban Rusney Castillo close to finalizing a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox.
"I am very happy for him, and I think all Cubans should be happy for him that he was able to get such a good contract," Abreu said.
The reported deal would eclipse Abreu's six-year, $68 million contract from this past offseason as the largest deal signed by an amateur player, but he did not seem to have an issue with his former teammate's new deal.
"We played together all throughout we were growing up and coming up on the national team," Abreu said. "I'll tell you, he's a guy who has a lot of tools. He's a five-tool player. As long as he stays mentally tough, he's going to be able to do some good things."
The Red Sox were in heavy pursuit for Abreu this past winter before losing out to the White Sox. His success in his first season likely helped Castillo's case for such a large contract.
Abreu also offered some advice to Castillo about making the adjustment to the Majors.
"My advice to him is to let people who know what they're doing help him," Abreu said. "Let them help him and just listen to them. As long as you do that and stay mentally tough, he should be fine."
Shortstop Anderson debuts at Double-A
Fully recovered from the broken wrist that sidelined him for nearly two months and fresh off a short rehab assignment in the Arizona League, shortstop Tim Anderson, the White Sox No. 2 prospect, made his debut with Double-A Birmingham on Friday. Though he collected three hits, it wasn't enough for a victory, as Birmingham fell, 3-2, to Mississippi.
Anderson, ranked No. 85 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects, broke his wrist in June while playing with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. He returned to the field a week ago in Arizona with the Rookie White Sox before joining the Barons. He went 3-for-3 with a double and scored a run in his debut.
When he was placed on the disabled list in June, Anderson was hitting .297/.323/.472 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases in 68 games with Winston-Salem. At the time, he ranked eighth in the Carolina League in hitting.
Anderson's promotion to Double-A is something of a homecoming for the 21-year old. He grew up about an hour southwest of Birmingham in Tuscaloosa, Ala. After two years at East Central Community College in Mississippi, the White Sox made him the 17th overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Third to first
• Right-hander Javy Guerra is in New York with the White Sox, but has not been activated from the bereavement list. Guerra has not had a chance to do a lot of throwing, but he will be activated on Saturday.
• The White Sox optioned reliever Eric Surkamp to Triple-A Charlotte following Friday night's 4-3 loss.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.