SEATTLE -- Needing a roster spot to activate Saturday night starter Josh Beckett, the Red Sox designated outfielder Darnell McDonald for assignment, likely ending McDonald's time in the Red Sox organization.
McDonald was hitting just .214 with two homers and nine RBI with the Sox this season, his third with the team. He had appeared in 38 games, almost exactly half of the team's games this season.
A journeyman who came to the Sox after stops with three other organizations, McDonald made a good first impression with the Sox, coming off the bench to hit a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth inning against Texas on April 20, 2010, then delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
That season, he hit .270 with nine homers and 34 RBI. He was designated for assignment that spring, but survived when Jacoby Ellsbury re-injured his broken ribs during batting practice at Tropicana Field, giving McDonald a reprieve.
Last year, McDonald struggled until the final six weeks of the season when he performed better.
The Sox could have returned pitcher Clayton Mortensen to Pawtucket, but with Ellsbury, Crawford, Scott Podsednik and Ryan Sweeney all due back from the disabled list in the coming weeks, McDonald's time was coming to an end either way.
When the Sox obtained Brent Lillibridge --a righthanded-hitting outfielder who fares well against lefties -- McDonald became especially redundant.
The Sox now have 10 days to trade, release or re-assign McDonald. If no deal can be made and he clears waivers, McDonald could still end up back at Pawtucket.