McDonald hit the open market in September when he refused an outright assignment from the Pirates. Things never came together for him last year, as he only got six starts and ended up with a 5.76 ERA in 29 2/3 MLB innings. Control was a particular issue, as McDonald ended up with 6.1 BB/9. In 33 Triple-A innings in 2013, McDonald scuffled to a 6.55 ERA.
Nevertheless, McDonald offers tantalizing upside. Over the first half of 2012, he carried a 2.37 ERA with a 3.23 K:BB ratio and allowed opponents to hit just .196/.258/.312 against him. (Of course, those numbers flipped to a 7.52 ERA, 1.34 K:BB rate, and .292/.388/.551 line in the second half.) And though he dealt with a shoulder issue last year, McDonald has otherwise been durable over his professional career.