— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 20, 2013
Ken Rosenthal first reported that the Pirates and Diamondbacks have agreed to a trade that will send utility infielder John McDonald to the Bucs for a player to be named later or cash.
McDonald, 38, is coming off a season where he hit .249/.295/.386 over 213 plate appearances. He is in the final season of a two-year, $3 million contract and is set to make $1.5 million this season. McDonald is a pretty good fielder and is capable of playing second base, third base, or shortstop.
McDonald is almost a certain lock to take one of the bench spots on the Opening Day roster, leaving pretty much just one final bench spot up for grabs between Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer, Ivan DeJesus, and Brandon Inge.
The Pirates placed Chase d’Arnaud on the 60-day disabled list, after undergoing hand surgery, to make room for McDonald on the 40-man roster.
This move looks like it lowers Mercer’s shot of making this team, who is someone I would like to see get a roster spot. My money is on Inge to head north.