Traded IF John McDonald to the Toronto Blue Jays for a Player to be Named
The Indians will receive the player after the Rule 5 Draft, which basically indicates they'll get at best a marginal prospect. McDonald will probably be the second backup infielder, and shouldn't get much playing time. That being said, McDonald can stick around for awhile; defensive specialists are pretty valuable if used correctly. For instance, you could pair McDonald with an offensive-minded second baseman, putting him in the game with a lead. McDonald was a class act during his six seasons with the Tribe, and hopefully his career can continue with Toronto. For a short time, McDonald had the longest tenure with the Indians on the roster; now that distinction falls to David Riske, who made his Cleveland debut on August 14, 1999, about a month after McDonald appeared for the first time.
Who replaces McDonald on the roster? No one, really; as currently constructed it looks like the team will only carry one backup shortstop.
-Two Catchers (Martinez, Bard)
-Six Infielders (Broussard, Blake, Peralta, Boone, Phelps, Phillips/Merloni)
-Four Outfielders (Crisp, Lawton, Sizemore, Ludwick)
-One DH (Hafner)
-Five Starters (Sabathia, Westbrook, FA, Lee, Elarton)
-Seven Relievers (Wickman, Howry, Riske, Betancourt, Miller, Sauerbeck, Swingman)
The Indians could try to carry only three true outfielders if Blake can play out there, but that's pressing the action a bit. They could squeeze Belliard onto the roster, but they'd have to deal one of the outfielders first. Regardless, there wasn't really going to be a spot for Mac on the roster, and the Indians probably did him a service by dealing him to a club that can use him. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time, but I doubt seriously he's going to get that much.