Age opening day 2013: 28
Arbitration year: First
Acquired: Via trade along with Andrew Lambo from the Dodgers in exchange for Octavio Dotel and cash
Service time: 3 years 80 days
2012 salary: $502,500
Stats: 4.21 ERA in 171 innings pitched, 30 games, 29 starts, 12-8 record, 151/69 K/BB ratio, 3.6 BB/9, 7.9 K/9, 1.26 WHIP
Now we can have some fun. Imagine you’re in the arbitration hearing room for this one. Pirates general counsel Bryan Stroh will stand up and talk about how, as good as McDonald was, he allowed 14 home runs, a .292 opposing batting average, 38 walks and a 7.52 ERA in 61 second-half innings, eventually pitching his way out of the rotation.
Next, McDonald’s agent, J.D. Smart, will talk about McDonald’s 100 strikeouts and 31 walks in 110 first-half innings and his 2.37 first-half ERA.
Good luck trying to pick a salary.
McDonald undeniably improved this season. His command was better, his breaking pitches were cleaner and he pitched deeper into games. To hear he and Clint Hurdle talk about it, McDonald’s mentality, not anything physical, hampered him in the second half.
Comp: Chris Volstad, 2012. Volstad made 29 starts and pitched 1652/3 innings in 2011, striking out 117 and walking 49 with a 4.89 ERA. He earned $2.655 in his first year of arbitration.
Analysis: This one is fairly simple. The Pirates will tender McDonald a contract, he will make between $2.5 and $3 million and he will be in their starting rotation next season.
-- Video courtesy of MLB.com
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