Your starting shortstop for 2010: John McDonald

So much for Plan A, Plan B, or even Plan C … it appears as though the Blue Jays will be resorting to Plan D at shortstop next year. Thanks to a reported one year deal worth approximately $1.5 million, John McDonald will return for one more season to wow fans with his defensive prowess at shortstop.

While the rumblings of this deal initally irked me, I fully understand the reasoning behind it. Instead of taking a chance right out of the gate with Mike McCoy or some other el-cheapo free agent signing, the club would rather have the stability (albeit his offensive shortcomings) of Johnny Mac stationed between second and third base.

Two months ago, I would have been livid to find out that the Blue Jays were giving the starting shortstop position to John McDonald. The reasoning behind my disdain in that decision was having Johnny Mac on the team didn’t move this team forward, it merely kept it at status quo.


Now that Alex Anthopoulos has announced the Blue Jays are “building”, I understand that this move is to keep John McDonald as a placeholder until somebody else comes along . Whether that happens via a position player in a trade involving Roy Halladay, or if it means somebody from Las Vegas gets called up remains to be seen.

If anything, at least Johnny Mac will distract us from the on-field product with some of his defensive gems scattered throughout the 162-game schedule.

In the meantime, I don’t see what all the fuss is about over giving a deserving player like John McDonald a starting job he has coveted for so long. $1.5 million dollars is chump change for McDonald to play 120+ games next year.

After all, the Blue Jays will be paying B.J. let Ryan almost seven times that kind of money in 2010 to work on his tan and try some experimental hair restoration products.

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.

10 thoughts on “Your starting shortstop for 2010: John McDonald

  • November 25, 2009 at 10:22 pm


    Was a pleasure, Marco Scutaro.

  • November 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    It's a 2 year deal. Now that's fucked up.

  • November 25, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    This is just arguing for the sake of arguing now, because we both know where we stand….but you really don't see a problem with John MacDonald starting 120 games for the Jays (and I don't necessarily believe that will be the case, by the way)??

    I love Johnny Mac, and nobody is better for the community, I'm sure. And I'm sure he wants the job. But that's not the way things work, man.

    Maybe the rationale is strong defense to help out the young pitchers?

    But still – a 2 year deal? At $1.5M per? No other team gives him that.

    Prove me wrong, JMac. I guess.

  • November 25, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Ugh – TWO YEARS? As much as I love watching Jonny Mac D, nothing says winning like signing a Mendoza hitter to a two year deal.

  • November 25, 2009 at 11:26 pm


    Two years? That wasn't part of the deal, Alex. Now that changes everything and means the Jays are planning on having a 37-year old John McDonald as their starting SS till the end of the 2010 season.

    One year I was okay with, but two?

    Ack, I'm not HAPPY with the signing (obviously I wish they traded to get J.J. Hardy) but I'm fine with it for the time being.

    The Blue Jays have kind of jerked Johnny Mac around these past few years – they rewarded him with nice 2 year contract to be the starting SS, then they took it away from him and gave it to David Eckstein in 07 and Scutaro in 08.

  • November 25, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Nobody gets "jerked around" making that type of dough. Johnny will be a black hole in the 9-hole, and that's OK, because the rest of the team is going to MASH. Especially that Vernon Wells guy.

    Who the fuck bats lead-off now that Scoots ain't coming back home?

  • November 26, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I agree with your supposition that JMac has been signed to help solidify the middle infield to help the young starters. Even at two years, that's not overpaying in my opinion. JMac and Hill give the starters every chance at a double play. Worst case scenario, he goes back to his bench role if the Jays come together by 2011 and get an upgrade. I have no idea why anyone would have a problem with this.

  • November 26, 2009 at 12:33 am

    eyebleaf, every lineup has a number nine hitter and subsequently they are most often the worst hitter on the team. There is no getting around that. As far as leadoff is concerned? If I could venture a guess, I would say maybe even Wells?

    Mattt, I don't think it's the cash that's the problem, it's the length of the contract. One year is cool but two years is one too many.

  • November 26, 2009 at 2:17 am

    This is all just a bad dream, any second from now I will wake up and Johnny Mac will still be a free agent.

    Also, you guys are forgetting one thing, Johnny Mac will be the #8 hitter because Travis Snider is Cito's #9 guy 🙂

  • November 26, 2009 at 2:31 am

    I'm sure you've heard about the most recent developments too, Peter. Just refresh your screen and check out the new blog post I just did.

    Hey, anything can happen – remember a few years ago when Rod Barajas was all but signed by the Jays and Gregg Zaun was out the door? Then Barajas balked and the Jays basically had to beg Zauny to come back?

    If Cito keeps Snider in the #9 spot all year, I will lose my mind. In my mind, he should be hitting no lower than 7th.

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