Beckham, 28, who was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in August, agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year deal worth $2 million. To make room on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated Viciedo for assignment, just over two weeks after the sides agreed to a $4.4 million deal.
"The White Sox always kept their door open to me," Beckham said. "I appreciate the fact that (general manager) Rick (Hahn) was extremely professional in talking to my agent throughout the process. There was always a chance for (a return). We were trying to find the best opportunity for me to play, and ultimately, the best opportunity for me to play was in Chicago."
While the White Sox were expected to go with youth at second base, with Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez the favorites to take over the position, Beckham can now alter that plan. Second base looks like it will be a wide-open competition in spring training, with the veteran Beckham taking on the youngsters.
"It clearly was very important to us going back to even the middle of 2013 trying to find a way to provide more flexibility in the lineup for (manager) Robin (Ventura) so he has the ability to play matchups more easily, defensive substitutions, offensive matchups, left-right matchups when appropriate," Hahn said. "Signing Gordon is another step in that direction."
Beckham's value is that if he doesn't win the second-base job, Ventura can tap into his versatility and use him as a backup at second base, third and even shortstop.
"Adding Gordon improves the depth and flexibility of our roster," Hahn said in a statement. "We are thrilled to have him back. Like Emilio Bonifacio, Gordon brings the ability to play solid defense at multiple positions or play on an everyday basis should the need arise. This also gives Robin the ability to play matchups more effectively when setting the lineup."
Beckham batted just .226 with 27 doubles, nine home runs and 44 RBIs in a combined 127 games last season with the White Sox and Angels. The former first-round draft pick in 2008 is a career .245 hitter with 63 home runs, 264 RBIs and 337 runs scored over six seasons.
He hit .270 with 14 home runs and 63 RBIs during his rookie season in 2009, but has never been able to live up to the promise of that season, although he has turned himself into a solid defensive second baseman.
Viciedo also never lived up to his potential promise and has always been a liability on defense. The 25-year-old slugger batted .231 with 21 home runs and 58 RBIs in 145 games last season. He ended up with more playing time than expected because of an injury to right fielder Avisail Garcia.
Over five seasons, Viciedo has batted .254 with 66 home runs and 211 RBIs over 483 games.
"With Viciedo, since the time that we tendered him the contract for 2015, we've added two outfielders in Melky Cabrera and Emilio Bonifacio," Hahn said. "Now with Beckham helping out around the infield and lightening some of the infield portion of the load with Bonifacio, it got to the point where Dayan didn't very likely fit on this club in a meaningful way for 2015. The thought with designating him was to flesh out any interest over the next 10 days or so, and find him a better home going into the next season."