Tag: Darnell McDonald

darnell mcdonald getty

Darnell McDonald announces retirement on Instagram


Darnell McDonald announced his retirement from professional baseball in a unique way on Saturday night, using Instagram — or rather Flipagram — to produce a pictorial of his career:

McDonald, 35, batted .250/.314/.397 over parts of seven major league seasons.

He played for the Orioles, Twins, Reds, Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano as a Granderson replacement seems far-fetched

Curtis Granderson

The silver lining about a 10-week injury to Curtis Granderson: Opening Day is still more than a month away.

Losing Granderson’s power is far from an ideal way for the Yankees to start the spring, but it’s hardly a season-wrecker either. And while there might be some concern over whether Granderson will regain his power right away after his broken forearm heals, I think that’s less of an issue than it would be were it a wrist or hand injury.

One problem the Yankees do face here is that they released their best Granderson replacement last month. Veteran Chris Dickerson hit .316/.417/.514 with 17 steals in 69 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and also popped a couple of homers in 14 at-bats in the majors last season. A plus defender in a corner still capable of manning center, he was the fourth best outfielder on the Yankees’ roster at the time of his release. The main issue is that, like the three guys ahead of him, he’s a left-handed hitter, which made him poorly suited for a spot on the team’s bench.

The Yankees also lost Russ Canzler on waivers earlier this month. Like Dickerson, he’s now an Oriole. He would have been a liability in left field, but he projected better offensively than any of the Yankees’ current internal options, a group that includes journeymen Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz and Thomas Neal and prospect Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa.

The one internal option not getting much play yet is Eduardo Nunez. Nunez started three games in left field for the Yankees last season, but the team was committed to keeping him at shortstop this spring with Derek Jeter rehabbing. Perhaps that will change next month if Jeter shows he’s ready to play shortstop on Opening Day.

Of course, then there are the external options. Alfonso Soriano is the name on everyone’s lips, even though he still has two very expensive seasons left on his contract. Also, he wields a no-trade clause and he presumably wouldn’t be happy about shifting to a part-time role once Granderson returns. Soriano was asked about the Yankees possibility by CSN’s Patrick Mooney today: “If they call for me, I have to think about it because I don’t want to take a quick reaction and say yes or no.”

The Cubs would presumably cover a heavy portion of the $38 million left on Soriano’s deal in order to move him, but still, even taking on $5 million or so for 2014 would hurt the Yankees as they try to get under the luxury tax. For a one-month Granderson replacement, he wouldn’t make much sense.

Other external options include free agents Scott Podsednik, Johnny Damon and Bobby Abreu, none of whom figure to hold much appeal. The Mariners have Casper Wells and Eric Thames expendable after loading up on veterans. The right-handed-hitting Wells would actually be a pretty nice fit as a fourth outfielder after Granderson returns. The Tigers’ Brennan Boesch and Padres’ Jesus Guzman could be made available. There are also veterans like Ben Francisco (Indians), Conor Jackson (Orioles), Darnell McDonald (Cubs), Tony Gwynn Jr. (Dodgers), who might not make their current teams and could be had next to nothing, though they’re not necessarily better bets than Rivera and Diaz.

The guess here is that Rivera is the Yankees’ Opening Day left fielder.  He doesn’t have a whole lot left, but he’s a better bet than Diaz and none of the younger prospects are ready to hit in the majors. Keeping Mesa around as a defensive replacement might make sense, though only until Granderson comes back.

Yankees claim Darnell McDonald off waivers from Red Sox


Darnell McDonald will be staying in the AL East after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox, as the Yankees claimed the 33-year-old outfielder off waivers.

McDonald had a solid season in 2010 when pressed into unexpectedly regular action for the Red Sox, but has hit just .228 with a .695 OPS in 117 games since then and is little more than a reserve outfielder.

He’s unlikely to stick around if/when Brett Gardner comes off the disabled list, but could draw some starts versus left-handed pitching in the meantime.

Red Sox to designate Marlon Byrd for assignment

Marlon Byrd AP

Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox will designate outfielder Marlon Byrd for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will make his first major league start since Tommy John surgery this afternoon against the Nationals. Byrd was informed of the decision following last night’s game.

Byrd was acquired from the Cubs for Michael Bowden and Hunter Cervenka after Jacoby Ellsbury went down with a subluxed right shoulder in April. The 34-year-old began his Red Sox tenure with a six-game hitting streak, but his production tailed off from there and his playing time has suffered recently due to the emergence of Daniel Nava and Scott Podsednik and the return of Darnell McDonald.

Byrd batted .270/.286/.320 with one homer, two doubles and a .606 OPS over 105 plate appearances with Boston and is hitting just .210/.243/.245 overall this season. The Cubs are still on the hook for all but $400,000 of his $6.5 million salary for 2012.

Cody Ross out indefinitely with fractured bone in left foot

Jose Molina, Cody Ross

Cody Ross, who’s been playing every day in the Red Sox’s outfield because of injuries to Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, is now joining them on the disabled list with a fractured bone in his left foot.

There’s no timetable yet for his return, but manager Bobby Valentine indicated to reporters that the Red Sox definitely expect him to play again this season.

Ross was hitting .271 with eight homers and an .883 OPS in 37 games, so taking his bat out of the lineup is a big loss and the Red Sox’s outfield is now extremely thin. However, one non-negative to the injury is that it makes things easier on the Red Sox when it comes to activating Kevin Youkilis from the DL, which can now presumably be done without sending Will Middlebrooks back to the minors and may lead to one of them–or perhaps even Adrian Gonzalez–seeing action in the outfield.

That’s just me speculating, of course, and in the meantime the Red Sox are starting Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd, and Che-Hsuan Lin in the outfield tonight versus the Orioles. And outfielders now on Boston’s disabled list include Ross, Crawford, Ellsbury, Darnell McDonald, Jason Repko, and Ryan Kalish.