Scratch that – Johnny Mac NOT your starting shortstop

Are you as confused as I am?

Just hours ago the Blue Jays officially resigned John McDonald for a two year $3 million dollar deal, that pretty much answered the question of who would be the starting shortstop in 2010.

Now this comes along.


Jordan Bastian reports that John McDonald’s role on the team next season remains undefined and that the Blue Jays are actually still seeking a full time shortstop.

Say what?

So I guess that means time for the Blue Jays to dip into the shortstop free agent bargain bin. Viable options out on the market include former J.P. Ricciardi mancrush Orlando Cabrera, Alex “not that Alex” Gonzalez, or hell … maybe even Adam Everett.

This news comes as a huge surprise after I (and many of us) had assumed that this contract basically locked John McDonald in as the full-time shortstop until somebody else challenged him for the job.

In my estimation, part of the reason for signing Johnny Mac to the two year deal was so other teams could not scoop him up. By the sounds of things, it appears there were a few teams gunning for McDonald and Alex Anthopolous didn’t want to let him slip away just in case they couldn’t find a replacement at SS in the interim.

Unfortunately, knowing the way that Cito coaches, John McDonald is doomed to be banished to the bench once again aside from the odd pinch-running assignment. Which is a shame, because one would think that this starting shortstop position was Johnny Mac’s to lose.

But now he’s lost it before he even had a chance to defend it. Now he’ll spend the rest of 2010 and 2011 trying to get it back.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

9 thoughts on “Scratch that – Johnny Mac NOT your starting shortstop

  • November 26, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I like Johnny Mac (as I think everyone does) but this is really no different than the last contract. Mac had a lot more playing time (granted under a different manager) when he wasn't competing with one of the top leadoff hitters, which Scutaro was for a good chunk of the season. I know that doesn't explain the lack of use in late innings, but I expect we'll see more of him — uh, but hopefully not quite as much as in 2007.

  • November 26, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I'll try to focus on the positives of this deal:
    1. It's not a lot of money
    2. MacDonald is a great guy and hard worker and good influence on the young players
    3. MacDonald isn't completely useless against left handed pitching.
    4. I won't have to listen to callers on the FAN590 complaining for the next two years that the only reason that the Jays aren't the best team in baseball is because they didn't resign John MacDonald.

  • November 26, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    QJays, you're right – almost identical terms as the last contract. When they dealt that one out, I think it was under the intention that he would be the starting SS though – and we all know how that ended. Royce Clayton who?

    Peter D, it's really not a lot of cash to have a viable backup infielder to come off the bench or pinch-run. And you're bang on about the Jays Talk comment – if they didn't re-sign him, I could just imagine the kinds of calls Wilner would get next year.

    "You know what this team needs to win? John McDonald. That guy was a winner!"

  • November 26, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Johnny Mac is as loaded with intangible qualities as any player possibly could be. JMac for MVP!!

  • November 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I take back all of my arguements that JMac was not such a bad signing. Now we have two players of pretty much the same calibre. I'm confused.

  • November 26, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Yeah – Gonzalez at slightly more per year. At least you won't find yourself saying "I think (insert name here) should have been at SS today instead — to give us an offensive boost."

  • November 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I don't get why we sign JMac to a contract like that. No way he's worth that amount of money and no way he's a starting short stop. Sure he's got a great glove, but his defense is absolutely crippling. Gonz is only marginally better. It looks like we're putting in two borderline starters in a platoon position. Maybe with JMac starting when groundball pitchers are up?

  • November 27, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Chris, while I agree that $1.5 million is maybe a tad too much to pay for Johnny Mac, it's certainly not as bad as the $6 million that Orlando Cabrera is seeking.

    If Doc is still around next year, watch for Johnny Mac to get the lion's share of starts at SS.

  • November 28, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    I just read that again. I meant his offense is crippling. Horrible.

Comments are closed.