Black and gold: McDonald traded to Pittsburgh Pirates
Phoenix - The Arizona Diamondbacks traded shortstop John McDonald to Pittsburgh on Wednesday for a player to be named or cash, giving the Pirates some much-needed infield depth.
The trade came two days after Pirates backup shortstop Chase d'Arnaud, injured in a rundown drill earlier, had surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks.
The 38-year-old McDonald, the East Lyme High School graduate who went on to play for UConn-Avery Point and Providence College, hit .249 with six homers and 22 RBI in 70 games for Arizona last season and gives the Pirates an experienced reserve for regular shortstop Clint Barmes.
McDonald, who can also play second base and third base, made only one error in 210 chances last season.
"He's a professional player. A lot of experience. Above average defender. He's got infield presence. Clubhouse presence. He's just a seasoned vet," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
McDonald found himself the odd man out at a crowded position. Cliff Pennington and Willie Bloomquist are expected to share the spot when the season begins, with top prospect Didi Gregorius waiting at Triple-A Reno.
"He's a very accomplished defensive player and a veteran presence," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. "He brings depth and stability at a position where all of a sudden we didn't have much depth or stability."
McDonald has spent parts of 14 seasons in the majors with Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto and Arizona. He went to Arizona along with Aaron Hill in a trade that sent Kelly Johnson to Toronto in August 2011.
McDonald appeared in a career-high 123 games with Toronto in 2007 and batted .251. He is a .237 career hitter.
McDonald played at Avery Point in 1993-94, and was a NJCAA All-America selection in 1994. He went on to play at Providence from 1995-96 and was drafted in the 12th round by the Indians in 1996.
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