Veteran infielder McDonald hopes to play in '15

Free agent and 16-year veteran unsure of future

Veteran infielder McDonald hopes to play in '15

ANAHEIM -- On Monday, John McDonald took a red-eye flight back home to Boston to be with his family.

After that, whatever happens, happens.

McDonald, 40, who just finished his 16th season in the Major Leagues, served as a late-game defensive specialist for the Angels and is a free agent this offseason. With his age climbing and his playing time dwindling, 2014 could have been the last season for McDonald, although he still hopes to play next year.

"When the time comes for someone to tell you that we don't want you anymore, that'll be it," McDonald said. "I've played so much longer than I thought I would play. You don't take too much stock into something being your last year when you've played beyond what you expected."

McDonald signed a Minor League contract this spring with the Angels, and he made the Opening Day roster before appearing in 95 games (third most in his career) and slashing .171/.256/.197 in 91 plate appearances.

"My role, for the better part of my career, has always been the same," McDonald said. "You just enjoy coming to the ballpark every day just like I did all the other years. I've played 15 years longer than I thought I would play. I didn't think I was going to get drafted. Every year has been the same -- have fun, appreciate the fact that you're in the big leagues."

Once the Angels made a trade to acquire infielder Gordon Beckham, McDonald's role diminished and ultimately vanished by October, when Beckham made the postseason roster and McDonald didn't.

"This year was great," McDonald said. "I had a role for 162 games. It's awesome. We won 98 games and I was a part of that. There's value in players like me. I'm good with anything. I'm good with whatever happens."

This offseason will mark the fourth time McDonald will be free agent. He signed contracts in November of both '09 and '11 before waiting until January in '14 to sign with the Angels.

"I might get a call in a couple of weeks, find another job," McDonald said. "I don't know. You never know what's going to happen. … Every free agent offseason is like that. What's next? I don't know. Could be something I don't even expect, something I haven't even thought of yet."

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.