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McDonald's focus is making Angels as utility man

McDonald's focus is making Angels as utility man

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Most Minor League contracts have what they call "an out," a specific date when a player can opt out of his deal and try to hook on with another team if he isn't on the Major League roster by that point.

Not John McDonald's deal, because, as the 39-year-old slick-fielder said Thursday: "If another team is going to be interested at some point, they'll be interested. Hopefully I'm here for the whole year. That's my goal. I want to get healthy and make it hard for them to make a decision."

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McDonald is coming off a season in which he suited up for four Major League organizations -- the Pirates, Indians, Phillies and Red Sox -- and was given three separate playoff shares at the end of the season.

Now, McDonald enters camp with a very simple scenario in front of him: Compete with Andrew Romine, who's out of options, for the utility-infield spot.

If he makes the team, it'll mark McDonald's 16th year in the Majors, most of which has come in the utility role the Angels are looking to fill. If he doesn't, he's unsure if he'll accept an assignment to the Minor Leagues.

"Given my age, I have two small kids at home, it wouldn't be ideal," said McDonald, a lifetime .235/.274/.327 hitter who batted .116 in 51 Major League games last year. "But I don't think I'll be able to answer that question truthfully until it's actually presented to me by my [general manager]. It's a tough question to answer. I don't really know."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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