The Boston Red Sox have acquired utility infielder John McDonald from the Philadelphia Phillies for a minor league pitcher.
What is notable about the waiver wire deal is that McDonald will be playing for his fourth big league team of the season. In 2013, McDonald played 16 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8 games for the Cleveland Indians and 31 games for the Philadelphia Phillies. In 68 plate appearances, McDonald is hitting .098 with a home run and 4 RBI. McDonald, who turns 39 in September, has stayed in the big leagues for 15 seasons because of his glove and his versatility. It would not surprise me if McDonald one day becomes a big league manager.
When McDonald makes his Red Sox debut, he will become the 14th player in MLB history to play for four teams in one season. The last player to be so well-traveled was Jose Bautista. That does seem hard to believe now that Bautista is firmly ensconced in Toronto. But during his rookie season in 2004, Bautista played for the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
O.K., so what about Casper Wells? Although Wells has been with five organizations this season (Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies), he did not get into any games with either the Mariners or the Blue Jays. So Wells has actually only seen action with three teams this season. But hey, there are a couple of more hours before the waiver period expires. If the Phillies dealt McDonald then why wouldn’t they deal Wells?
Like Wells, McDonald can also lay claim to having been with five organizations this season as he went to spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks whom he had been toiling since 2011. However, the D’Backs traded McDonald to the Pirates during spring training thus beginning his long journey that has been the 2013 season.
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