Arizona Diamondbacks Sign John McDonald, Near Deal with Henry Blanco

Less than 24 hours into the start of free agency, the Diamondbacks are already very active. They have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with shortstop John McDonald and are on the verge of bringing back backup catcher Henry Blanco on a one-year contract.

McDonald’s deal pays the veteran $1.5 million each year of the deal, according to Jack Magruder of FoxSportsArizona.com. The deal for Blanco will pay him $1.2 million, which is a slight increase over what his option would have paid him.

Locking up McDonald for two years gives the Diamondbacks some insurance at shortstop. Starter Stephen Drew is coming back from a serious ankle injury and there is no guarantee that he will be able to pay the position as well as he did before suffering the injury earlier this season.

The 37-year-old McDonald has always been known for his glove first and foremost. In 19 games with Arizona after being traded away from Toronto, Johnny Mac hit only .169, but he committed only one error while seeing 139 innings at short.

Blanco did a great job backing up Miguel Montero all season long behind the dish. In 37 games in 2011, the 40-year-old hit .250 with eight homers and 12 RBI’s while playing great defensively behind the plate.

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