Infielder John McDonald
Entering spring training 2013, Clint Barmes was entrenched as the team’s starting shortstop. However, fast rising middle infield prospect Jordy Mercer was breathing down the neck of the light hitting Barmes. Looking for middle infield depth that would allow Mercer to play every day at Triple-A to start the season, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for veteran infielder John McDonald in late March.
To the angst of many fans, McDonald made the Opening Day roster over Mercer. With the Pirates, McDonald hit for a miserable .065/.171/.097 slash line in 35 plate appearances. He went on the disabled list with back strain in early May, which opened the door for an extended role for Mercer who returned to the Major Leagues a week earlier.
As Mercer hit well at the MLB level, people could see that McDonald’s days in Pittsburgh were numbered. These days came to an end on June 10 when he was traded to Cleveland Indians. Later that summer, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies who traded him to the eventual World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.
McDonald was not liked at all by Pirate fans. This was made very clear on message boards and Twitter. Due to this, and his horrendous offensive performance, many people have probably forgotten that he played for the Pirates in 2013.