Sep 25, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Darnell McDonald (54) hits a three run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the sixth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
The deal also includes an out clause should McDonald receive a more lucrative offer from Nippon Professional Baseball (Japan).
McDonald, 35, joined the Cubs last year on a minor league deal. His veteran presence and mentoring young prospects during spring training or at Triple-A Iowa fills a need for the club. He spent the majority of 2013 at Iowa, where he hit .236/.307/.346 in 294 plate appearances with four home runs. In the Majors, he went .302/.351/.434 with a homer in 57 plate appearances.
McDonald has hit a career .285/.353/.453 line against left-handed pitchers. He also has the ability to play all three outfield positions, which gives him a shot to retain the fifth outfielder role he held late last season.
Originally drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in first round (26th pick) of the 1997 amateur draft, McDonald has spent his nine-year Major League career with the Orioles, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, and Cubs.
McDonald has appeared in more than 100 games just one time – in 2010 with Boston – but generally plays between 50 and 70 games each season. The aforementioned 2010 season was one of his best, when he hit nine home runs and drove in 34 runs for Boston while appearing in 117 games.