John McDonald Rumors

Angels Sign John McDonald

The Angels have signed infielder John McDonald to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com on Twitter. McDonald will earn $850K, plus incentives, if he makes the big league club, Bradford further tweets. The 39-year-old is represented by Relativity Baseball.

Last year was an adventurous campaign even for the well-traveled McDonald. He saw limited time with four MLB clubs: the Pirates, Indians, Phillies, and Red Sox. Over just 77 plate appearances, McDonald slashed a meager .116/.197/.174.

McDonald has spent the bulk of his fifteen seasons to date in Cleveland and Toronto. He has a lifetime .235/.274/.327 triple-slash in 2,560 plate appearances. The slick fielder continues to hang his hat on his defensive ability. Spending most of his time up the middle at short and second, McDonald has accumulated a lifetime 10.8 rWAR through his defense, while being a net negative with the bat.


Quick Hits: Santana, Red Sox, Kuroda, Cano, Bay

Even with the high cost of free agent pitching, Ervin Santana's hopes for a $100MM contract seemed a little far-fetched…or are they?  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports looked at the binder of information that agents Bean Stringfellow and Joe White prepared about their client and saw a wealth of favorable statistics in Santana's favor, noting his durability, good health, and even comparisons to Zack Greinke.  MLBTR's Steve Adams only predicted a five-year, $75MM deal for Santana on the open market but it only takes one team to make a leap. 

Here's some news from around baseball…

  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said that the team has "real interest at different levels" in re-signing its six free agents, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.  Cherington has "had conversations" about bringing back Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Mike Napoli, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Joel Hanrahan and John McDonald, though Abraham reports that the team has most extensively discussed a new deal with Napoli.
  • The Red Sox aren't expected to make acquisitions during the GM meetings this week, Cherington said.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman has "no idea" if Hiroki Kuroda is interested in returning to the club, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports.  “My conversations with his agent, the only information I’ve gotten from that is he hasn’t made any decisions, what he wants to do as far as next year’s concerned," Cashman said.  Kuroda has been rumored to be weighing re-signing with the Yankees, pitching in Japan or retiring, though a return to southern California to be closer to his family probably isn't out of the question either.
  • Robinson Cano's next contract might not meet his expectations simply because the Yankees are the only team with the need and finances to come close to his demands, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes.
  • Jason Bay isn't sure if he will play in 2014, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi tweets.  The 35-year-old Bay was released by the Mariners in August and only has a .688 OPS in 1361 PA over his last four seasons, most of which were shortened by injury.
  • Agent Barry Praver said that his clients Manny Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano were hoping to again play in the Major Leagues, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (Twitter links).  Ramirez is staying in shape and would be open to playing in Japan, while Zambrano is pitching in the Venezuelan winter league.
  • Wily Mo Pena is expected to re-sign in Japan, Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports (Twitter link).  Pena signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks following the 2011 season and enjoyed a big 2012 before suffering through an injury-plagued 2013 campaign.  Nicholson-Smith notes that Pena had interested suitors in both Japan and North America.  Pena turns 32 in January and hit .250/.303/.445 with 84 homers in 1845 career PA with the Reds, Red Sox, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Mariners from 2002-11.

Quick Hits: Black, Pirates, Rasmussen, McDonald

Reliever Vic Black did not suspect he would be headed to the Mets as the player to be named in the Marlon Byrd deal with the Pirates, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes. "It never crossed my mind," Black says. Black notes that his goal is to close in the big leagues, saying that he has the aggressive mentality necessary to be a closer. He also has closer-type stuff, with a plus fastball and a slider. Black had a 2.51 ERA with 12.2 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 Triple-A Indianapolis this season. Here are more notes from around the Majors.

  • The loss of Black and, potentially, Duke Welker (who may or may not be headed to the Twins as the PTBNL in the Justin Morneau trade) will add more uncertainty to a Pirates' Triple-A Indianapolis roster that has already had more than its share of flux. Brian Peloza of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writes that the Pirates have promoted 18 different players from Indianapolis this season, more than other NL playoff contenders. Those players include Black, Welker, Alex Presley (the other player included in the Morneau deal), and top prospect Gerrit Cole.
  • The Phillies believe that Rob Rasmussen, the pitcher they received when they traded Michael Young to the Dodgers, could end up as a reliever, Bob Brookover of the Inquirer reports. "He's starting now, but he could be a guy later on who could pitch in the bullpen," GM Ruben Amaro Jr. says. "Lefthanders are always valuable. He's viewed as a really strong makeup kid with a big arm." Rasmussen, 24, had a 2.55 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 for Double-A Chattanooga in 2013, although he struggled in 54 1/3 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque.
  • Connecticut native and Massachusetts resident John McDonald is happy that a trade to the Red Sox brought him home, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. "[G]rowing up in New England, and getting to play in Fenway, and to put this uniform on today, it’s pretty awesome," McDonald says. The Red Sox will be the fourth team the infielder has played for this season, having also suited up for the Pirates, Indians and Phillies.
  • Angels owner Arte Moreno needs to share his plan to rebuild the team with superstar outfielder Mike Trout, argues the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin. Trout will be close to free agency by the time it will become possible for the Angels to return to contention, at least on a regular basis, Shaikin says.
  • The Rockies need to acquire a veteran starter in the offseason, and they also need bullpen help and a right-handed power bat, Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post writes. Nonetheless, Renck suggests that the improvements in the Rockies' rotation this year (their 2013 starters have a 4.37 ERA, compared to a 5.81 ERA in 2012) suggest that the team is heading in the right direction.


Red Sox Acquire John McDonald

The Red Sox have acquired infielder John McDonald from the Phillies in exchange for minor league pitcher Nefi OgandoBrian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweets. Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe adds that the Phillies are sending cash along in the deal (Twitter link).

The Red Sox become the fourth team this year for McDonald, who has also seen time with the Pirates and the Indians. The 38-year-old has appeared at second base, shortstop and third base in 2013, but has managed just a .098/.179/.164 batting line in 68 plate appearances. A 15-year veteran, McDonald is a career .235/.274/.327 hitter.

Ogando, 24, has thrown 55 innings for the Red Sox's high-A affiliate this season, posting a 4.09 ERA with a 7.2 K/9 and a 4.4 BB/9. He wasn't ranked among Boston's top 10 prospects by Baseball America after the 2012 season.


Phillies Acquire John McDonald

The Phillies acquired infielder John McDonald from the Indians today for a player to be named later or cash considerations, announced the team.  McDonald is expected to join the Phillies tomorrow in Los Angeles, at which point they'll make a corresponding 25-man roster move.  The Phils cleared a 40-man spot by outrighting catcher Steven Lerud.

Johnny Mac, 38, joined the Pirates in a March trade with the Diamondbacks and was traded to Cleveland on June 10th.  The Indians designated McDonald for assignment yesterday to make room for Asdrubal Cabrera.  The veteran is known for his glovework; he's played shortstop, second base, and third base this year.


Indians Designate John McDonald For Assignment

The Indians have designated John McDonald for assignment and activated Asdrubal Cabrera from the disabled list, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).

The 38-year-old McDonald appeared in eight games for the Tribe but only recorded eight plate appearances. He went hitless for Cleveland and has collected just two hits in 38 at-bats this season between the Pirates and Indians. For his career, McDonald is just a .236/.274/.327 hitter. He's been an outstanding defender at shortstop according to both UZR and DRS, however.


Indians Acquire John McDonald

The Indians announced that they have acquired John McDonald from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.  McDonald will help bolster the club in the middle of the infield in the wake of Asdrubal Cabrera‘s right quadriceps injury.

The 38-year-old has appeared in just 16 games for the Pirates so far this season.  Over the course of his 15 year major league career, McDonald owns a .237/.275/.328 slash line.  Last year, the veteran hit .249/.295/.386 in 70 games for the D’Backs with above-average defense at shortstop.


NL Notes: Garza, Pirates, Prado, Padres

Here's the latest news and notes from the National League:

  • Matt Garza, number seven on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Rankings, is slated for one or two additional minor league rehab starts after an abbreviated outing yesterday, reports MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. Garza threw 66 pitches (40 for strikes) over 3 1/3 innings for Double-A Tennessee allowing three hits and two walks. "He felt great and everything, but not real efficient," Cubs mangager Dale Sveum said. "Right now, we have to get him built up to get to the fourth, fifth and hopefully sixth inning." Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets Garza is expected to throw 85-95 pitches in his next rehab start, which will come next week for Triple-A Iowa.
  • Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is set to return from the disabled list tomorrow and Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review doesn't expect utilityman John McDonald to be designated for assignment to create space on the 25-man roster. McDonald, hitting only .067/.176/.100 in 34 plate appearances this year, would have to clear waivers while infielder Jordy Mercer still has minor league options available. "I think the term general managers use is you want to maintain all of your assets," manager Clint Hurdle said. "You don't want to release somebody if another guy has options. We're mindful of that."
  • Despite a slow start offensively, the Diamondbacks are already seeing dividends from their four-year, $40MM investment in Martin Prado, writes the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Steve Hummer
  • The Padres, who have the 13th overall pick in next month's amateur draft, aren't concerned that the perceived top players will be off the board when it comes their turn, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com. "There's probably more balance [in the Draft] than people give it credit for," said Chad MacDonald, vice president and general manager of player personnel, who will preside over the Padres' draft. "There are a lot of high school hitters out there. I think people are quick to grade a Draft." In addition to their area scouts and cross-checkers, the Padres have had GM Josh Byrnes, vice president/assistant GM AJ Hinch, and senior vice president Omar Minaya in the field scouting players. 

NL Central Notes: Figgins, Cedeno, Wainwright, Bucs

Some news from around the NL Central…

  • The Cubs haven't been in contact with Chone Figgins, ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers reports.  Figgins was released by the Marlins earlier this week and, as Rogers notes, is one of the few veteran options available if the Cubs want to bring in a third baseman.
  • Ronny Cedeno has cleared waivers after being released by the Cardinals three days ago, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter).
  • Chris Cwik of CBSSports.com analyzes the cost of an Adam Wainwright extension with the Cardinals and figures Wainwright will end up being paid between $21-$23.5MM per season.  Talks are ongoing between Wainwright and the Cards and the ace right-hander feels positive that an extension will be settled before Opening Day.  Wainwright is eligible for free agency after this season.
  • Jonathan Sanchez can opt out of his minor league deal with the Pirates on Sunday if he hasn't been added to the club's Major League roster, but the Bucs have until Tuesday to respond, MLB.com's Tom Singer reports.  Sanchez's one-year contract will guarantee him $1.375MM if he makes the roster.
  • Also from Singer, he opines that the Pirates' trade for John McDonald is the kind of veteran acquisition a team makes when it believes it will contend.  Otherwise, Singer wonders why Pittsburgh would add McDonald to an already-deep middle infield mix.

Pirates Acquire John McDonald

1:03pm: The teams announced the trade, which sends McDonald to the Pirates for a player to be named or cash considerations.

11:19am: The Pirates acquired infielder John McDonald from the Diamondbacks, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Diamondbacks will obtain a player to be named later in the deal, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Rosenthal reported eight days ago that the Diamondbacks were looking to trade McDonald.

McDonald appeared in 70 games as a shortstop, second baseman and third baseman last year, posting a .249/.295/.386 batting line with six home runs. The 14-year veteran has a reputation as an excellent defender, and UZR suggests that McDonald's play has remained solid in recent years.

McDonald, 38, is now entering the second season of a two-year, $3MM contract. He'll earn $1.5MM in 2013 then become a free agent. He joins a Pirates infield that includes starters Neil Walker, Clint Barmes and Pedro Alvarez. Utility player Josh Harrison backed up up Barmes in 2012 and projects as a bench player again in 2013.