The Chicago Cubs agreed to a minor league deal with former Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher James McDonald on Friday. McDonald, who was designated for assignment by the team in September of this past year, was originally acquired by the Bucs in the Octavio Dotel trade alongside Andrew Lambo in 2010.
In parts of four seasons with the team, McDonald went 27-24 with a 4.21 ERA. Although the end of his time with the team was quite forgettable, he originally burst onto the scene with a strong performance at the end of the Pirates dismal 2010 campaign. He also pitched at an All-Star level for the first half of 2012, but suffered a drastic regression in the second half, one he still has yet to fully recover from. He flamed out with the Pirates at the beginning of 2013 and didn't pitch any better in the minor leagues.
If McDonald can reclaim his early 2012 form, he will be a steal for the Cubs. If not, no loss for them as he is only on a minor-league contract.
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