The Texas Rangers have reportedly acquired utility infielder Jason Donald in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, according to Hunter Samuels of Kings of Kauffman. It is not immediately known what Kansas City will get in return for Donald's services. The 29-year-old last played in the majors in 2012.
A third round pick in the 2006 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Donald is perhaps best known for his role in sending Cliff Lee to Philadelphia in a 2009 deadline trade that brought Donald, right-handers Jason Knapp and Carlos Carrasco, and catcher Lou Marson to Cleveland. At the time of the deal, Donald was considered to be one of the better prospects in the game, clocking in at 69th overall on Baseball America's top 100 entering the 2009 season.
A lifetime .276/.357/.417 hitter in the minors, Donald saw significant playing time at the big league level every year from 2010 to 2012. In 602 major league plate appearances, he has accumulated a 1.3 WAR, hitting .257/.309/.362 with an 89 OPS+. He was dealt to the Reds in a three-way deal with the Indians and Diamondbacks (the one that more notably featured Shin-Soo Choo, Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs, and Didi Gregorius) in 2012, but after just a year in Cincinnati's system, he signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent following last season.
In 85 plate appearances for Triple-A Omaha this season, Donald was hitting .231/.271/.308 with just four extra-base hits.
Texas has been hit hard by injuries this season, their infield included. Having spent time at every position on the diamond, sans catcher and pitcher, at some point during his career, Donald is essentially the ideal definition of a utility player. He is probably best suited at shortstop or second base, where the Rangers are currently lacking thanks to the absence of Jurickson Profar. The Rangers are currently deploying a Elvis Andrus/Rougned Odor double-play combo, with Donnie Murphy and Luis Sardinas backing them up. Donald should serve as added depth in case more injuries strike. He'll likely be assigned to Triple-A Round Rock, though an official announcement has yet to be made.