Angels acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

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It doesn’t do anything to address their rotation issues following news that Garrett Richards is out 6-9 months, but the Angels have acquired second baseman/third baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox for a player to be named later.

Beckham had a very promising rookie season as a 22-year-old in 2009, but the former first-round draft pick has hit just .240 with a .658 OPS in 636 games since then while never topping a .700 OPS in a season.

He’ll presumably fill a part-time role with the Angels, who have Howie Kendrick at second base and David Freese at third base.

Chicago was likely to non-tender Beckham this offseason anyway, so they’ll say goodbye early and perhaps clear a lineup spot for prospect Marcus Semien.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.