James McDonald Elects Free Agency

SEPT 14: McDonald has refused his outright assignment and elected free agency, according to the Pirates' transactions page.

SEPT. 13: McDonald cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis, according to the International League transactions page. As a player that has been outrighted off his 40-man roster but has three or more years of Major League service time, baseball's collective bargaining agreement allows McDonald to elect free agency following the season.

SEPT. 7: The Pirates announced that they have designated James McDonald for assignment.  The move will allow the Bucs to promote Brandon Cumpton from Triple-A Indianapolis.

McDonald, 28, was just reinstated from the disabled list after being out of action since April 30th due to issues with his throwing shoulder.  The right-hander wasn't terribly sharp in six starts this season, posting a 5.76 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9.  McDonald was once considered to be a high-upside prospect when he started out with L.A. and was rated No. 56 nationally by Baseball America before the '09 season.  For his career, McDonald owns a 4.20 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.

McDonald spent the entirety of the 2011-12 seasons in Pittsburgh's rotation, hurling 171 innings of 4.21 ERA each year with a combined 7.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.  His fastball velocity has declined in each of the past two years, though, falling from an average of 92.7 mph in 2011 to 91.8 in 2012 and 90.5 in 2013's small sample of 29 2/3 innings.

To keep track of McDonald and everyone else in DFA limbo, check out the MLBTR DFA Tracker.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.



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