TORONTO -- John McDonald won't be returning to the Blue Jays in 2012, as it was announced on Wednesday night that the utility infielder has signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. McDonald, who will reportedly make $1.5 million per year, was traded to Arizona alongside second baseman Aaron Hill for Kelly Johnson on Aug. 23. At the time of the move, McDonald expressed a desire to one day return to the Blue Jays, but he appears to have found a comfort zone in Arizona after making his postseason debut with the club in 2011. The 37-year-old McDonald spent parts of seven seasons with the Blue Jays. He is a career .238 hitter with 21 home runs and 179 RBIs and is known as one of the best defensive players in the game.
Among active shortstops since 1999 who have appeared in at least 500 games, McDonald's 56 errors are second-fewest to the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki's 46 errors, while his 3.14 assists per nine innings are fourth behind the Braves' Jack Wilson (3.38), Tulowitzki (3.25) and the Cardinals' Rafael Furcal (3.16). McDonald's highlight-reel plays and notorious hard work turned him into one of the most beloved player in Toronto. He often left the field to standing ovations and received the type of crowd response that is normally reserved for star players such as Jose Bautista. The 13-year veteran is expected to once again assume a utility role in Arizona. He has the ability to play second base, third base and shortstop and will provide a relatively young D-backs squad with a veteran presence in their clubhouse. McDonald has also played for the Indians and Tigers in his long career.