CHICAGO ( — Gordon Beckham kept hearing that the White Sox might trade him. And even though he liked being in Chicago, he’s glad they did.

The White Sox sent the slumping Beckham to the contending Angels last week for a player to be named or cash, ending a disappointing tenure in Chicago that began with high hopes.

Selected eighth overall in the 2008 draft, Beckham had a strong rookie year in 2009, hitting .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs in 103 games.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, he wasn’t able to build off that performance.

“It was a shock, but you know, I’ve had some great years in Chicago and really enjoyed being there,” Beckham said Tuesday during a conference call with local media. “It was just time for a new chapter. I’m pretty happy.”

Counted on to be a reliable part of the rebuilding White Sox this year, Beckham’s struggles continued. He played strong defense but hit only .221 with a .263 on-base percentage.

As his numbers stayed low, his name was thrown around more and more in trade speculation. In 2014, Beckham has managed a .217 batting average, with seven homers and 36 RBI.

“I really felt like I had some weight taken off my shoulders. For whatever reason, I was struggling in Chicago,” Beckham said. “Fortunately for me, it’s really given me a sense of clarity.”

“I feel like it was always like, `You might get traded, you might get traded.’ And now it’s really happened and I feel like there’s a monkey’s off my back kind of thing. All the baggage I had is no more.”

Being in a pennant race is clearly something the 27-year-old Beckham appreciates. He started out hitless in his first two games for the Angels, going 0 for 7.

“It’s an exciting time, it really is, because of where this team’s at and where I’m at in my career,” Beckham said. “I’m happy for a clean slate, I really am, and anything I can do to help this team win is much more important than anything personally.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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