Blue Jays sign McDonald

Blue Jays sign McDonald

The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year contract with infielder John McDonald, avoiding salary arbitration.

McDonald, who will make $500,000 in the deal, spent the first half of the 2005 season with the Blue Jays. On July 22, he was sent to Detroit for cash considerations -- clearing room on the roster for third baseman Corey Koskie to return from the disabled list.

Toronto reaquired McDonald from the Tigers in exchange for cash considerations on Nov. 10.

His signing leaves six players who are eligible for salary arbitration. Pitchers Pete Walker, Ted Lilly and Scott Downs, along with second baseman Orlando Hudson, first baseman Lyle Overbay and infielder Shea Hillenbrand have all been offered contracts for the 2006 season. Any players not offered a contract by midnight ET on Tuesday becomes a free agent.

McDonald, who will be entering his eighth Major League season, hit a combined .277 with a .326 on-base percentage with Toronto and Detroit. He had 16 RBIs, 11 walks and 24 strikeouts in 68 games.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-hander split time at shortstop with rookie Russ Adams and also played some second base for Toronto last year. He posted a .969 fielding percentage and had just eight errors in 264 chances.

McDonald will serve as a backup in the Blue Jays' crowded infield.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.