Before the 2012 All-Star break James McDonald gave Pittsburgh Pirates some of the best moments in the Burgh in a long time. On July 7, 2012 McDonald had a sparkling 2.37 ERA after a brilliant outing againts the San Francisco Giants, after that it has been all downhill.
Today the Pirates have designated the 28-year old McDonald for assignment. So the converted outfielder went from staff ace/Cy Young candidate/All-Star candidate to being booted from the Pirates 40-man roster.
JMac was signed to a $3.025 million dollar deal for the 2013 season, so the best thing for the Pirates would be a team to roll the dice and spend about $500K to take him off the Bucs hands. The lanky right-hander isn’t eligible for Major League free agency until the conclusion of the 2015 season, so it’s a definite possibility.
I’m fairly certain the Bucs have given up hope now. It’s odd too because about six weeks ago, Neal Huntington mentioned that JMac could earn his way back to the Bucs if he progressed in his rehab.
What a disappointment.
McDonald hasn’t pitched for the Bucs since early in May because of what was called a sore shoulder. A claim that McDonald had denied just days before.
McDonald went 32-30 with a 4.20 ERA lifetime in 82 starts and also made 49 relief appearances. JMac will turn 29 next month.
The Pirates activated the often mispronounced Brandon Cumpton to the roster and he is eligible to pitch today.
JMac provided some great photoshops over the years: