Mar 3, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Darnell McDonald (54) singles during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Veteran big league outfielder Darnell McDonald announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Tuesday after a brief stint with the Cubs.
McDonald was drafted by 26th overall during the first round of the 1997 Major League Baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
McDonald was able to crack the Major League roster on April 30, 2004, but was unable to make anything out of it. Between 2005-2007, McDonald bounced around from the Cleveland Indians, to the Tampa Bay Rays and onto the Minnesota Twins where he was called up after Michael Cuddyer was placed on the disabled list.
He later became a free agent and ended up signing with the Cincinnati Reds where he finally made the Opening Day roster. On August 30, 2009, McDonald hit his first Major League home run against none other than the 2013 National League Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw.
Just a year later, Darnell joined the Boston Red Sox and had his contract purchased from Triple-A Pawtucket after center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the disabled list. McDonald became the ninth player in Red Sox history to hit a home run in his first at-bat at with the franchise.
The veteran outfielder finished the 2010 season with nine home runs and made the 2011 Opening Day roster with the Red Sox as a utility outfielder. He was designated for assignment just a year later in order to make room for the returning Josh Beckett
McDonald, now 32, was claimed off waivers by Boston’s biggest division rival. On July 4, 2012, the New York Yankees claimed Darnell off waivers which led to him making his debut in pinstripes just three days later. Who did he make his New York Yankees debut against? The Boston Red Sox.
New York later demoted McDonald to their Triple-A affiliate just 10 days later, which eventually led to Darnell electing free agency in October. That’s when the Chicago Cubs come into the picture.
On January 10, 2013, the Cubs and McDonald were able to come to an agreement on a Minor League contract and was promoted to Triple-A Iowa in August of the same year. He was later brought up to the big league club and played in 25 games where he hit one home run, recorded five RBIs on a batting line of .302/.351/.434 to end the 2013 campaign.
The now 35-year-old outfielder entered the 2014 season with the Cubs during Cactus League play. He appeared in 15 games, picked up 27 at-bats for only two doubles and two RBIs. McDonald finished the spring with a batting line of .240/.367/.320.