John Joseph McDonald (born September 24, 1974 in New London, Connecticut) is a Major League Baseball infielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, primarily known for his defensive abilities. He was also a member of one of the last baseball teams for Providence College before the team was disbanded.
Johnny Mac was drafted in the 12th round of the 1996 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cleveland Indians. He made his MLB debut for Cleveland on July 4, 1999. On December 2, 2004, McDonald was traded from Cleveland to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for future considerations (Tom Mastny) .
McDonald was primarily a backup for Russ Adams at shortstop, putting up a .290 batting average and .340 OBP in 93 at bats for the Blue Jays to go along with 5 stolen bases. He was traded from the Blue Jays to the Detroit Tigers on July 22, 2005 for future considerations. . McDonald hit .260 with a .308 OBP for Detroit in 73 at bats. He was traded from the Tigers back to the Toronto Blue Jays on November 10, 2005, for cash considerations. .
During the 2006 season, he was the starting shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays due to the defensive struggles of teammate Russ Adams. At a point in the season, McDonald was labeled the "Emergency Back-up Catcher" for the Blue Jays behind their starting catchers Bengie Molina and Gregg Zaun as both played the role of Designated Hitter when they were not defensive catchers.
McDonald started the 2007 season by sharing the shortstop position with newcomer Royce Clayton. He also played games at third base as Troy Glaus's backup. Later in the season after showing his strong defensive abilities, McDonald replaced Royce Clayton as the everyday starting shortstop. Clayton was then released and McDonald took his role as starting shortstop, often contributing exceptional defensive plays (in conjunction with fellow infielders Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay). He was considered by the media as a contender to win a Gold Glove after leading AL shortstops in fielding percentage (.986) in 2007. Due in large part to his displays in the field this season, he received a 2-year contract extension from the Blue Jays - the deal was reportedly worth 3.8 million US.
In a poll of the viewers of the Canadian sports station Rogers Sportsnet, which broadcasts the majority of the Blue Jays' games, John McDonald was voted the most popular Blue Jay, narrowly edging out Roy Halladay.
Due to the off-season signing of all-star shortstop David Eckstein, John McDonald's role in the 2008 season is slated to be as a backup. This move has prompted a wave of questions from Blue Jays fans, as the team had signed McDonald to a multi-year contract not long before their acquisition of Eckstein. This new contract led most people to believe that McDonald, a fan favorite due to his stellar defense and gritty style of play, would stay on as starting shortstop.
- McDonald is one of only a few players to be traded for himself. The Blue Jays traded him to the Tigers in the middle of the 2005 season for future considerations. McDonald was then given back to the Blue Jays following the 2005 season to complete the exchange.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube