John McDonald can do that to a guy.
McDonald and Aaron Hill were traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks (who are one game up on the Giants at the time of writing) this afternoon for second baseman Kelly Johnson.
The press conference is going on right now and, from the sounds of it, McDonald and Hill both want to come back to Toronto. McDonald even said he’s already talked to Alex Anthopoulos about that possibility (he’s a free agent after this season).
McDonald’s defence and work ethic are enough to win over fans and coaches anywhere.
Hill’s been great in the past, but has struggled both this season and last. He seems like a perfect “just needs a change of scenery” candidate and there’s a real possibility a move to the NL and it’s AAAA competition could be just the change he needs.
As for who the Jays are getting… Anthopoulos has been after Johnson for a while now. After the 2009 season, the Jays were rumoured to be trying hard to sign Johnson to play leftfield, but Johnson chose the D’backs because he wanted to stay at second. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be taking Hill’s spot in the infield when he arrives in Toronto.
Hill and Johnson are both 29. Hill’s got parts of seven seasons under his belt, has a career slash line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging) of .265/.318/.413 and has been worth 15.9 wins above replacement, while Johnson’s posted a .260/.342/.442 and 14.2 WAR during his time in the big leagues.
Statistically, it seems like the Jays won this trade by a slim margin. So, while I’m sad to see Johnny Mac leave, this does appear to be a good move for the Jays overall.