In your no-risk-but-will-still-be-inexplicably-criticized-by-meatballs move of the day, the Chicago Cubs re-signed veteran outfielder Darnell McDonald to a minor league contract. Chris Cotillo reports that it comes with a Spring Training invitation, which probably has as much to do with getting his veteran presence around as many young players as possible as it does about him actually having a chance to make the team.
McDonald, 35, came to the Cubs last year on a minor league deal. He is one of those veterans about whom you don’t hear any cross words, and who offers a young Cubs roster – be in the Spring or at AAA Iowa – the kind of player-to-player leadership and mentoring that you can’t get from a manager or a coaching staff. It’s good to have guys like him around and in the organization. Obviously this front office has extensive history with McDonald, who made the most of his hay with the Red Sox several years ago.
And, hey, he put up a .302/.351/.434 line for the Cubs last year over 57 late-year plate appearances!
Outside of the leadership stuff, McDonald is a pure outfield depth move, presumably of the seventh or eighth option variety. Although he’ll be at Spring Training, there is very little chance he’ll make the Opening Day roster, short of the Cubs utterly refusing to add anything else of consequence in the outfield this offseason. McDonald can still hit lefties a little bit, so, hey, you never know.
No risk. It’s fine. Repeat that to yourself before you blow off any needless steam in the comments.