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Report: Darnell McDonald Joining Cubs

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49 players? Not enough. Please welcome Chicago Cub No. 50 for 2013.

USA TODAY Sports

There will be a preview of tonight's Cubs/Cardinals game coming shortly, but I wanted to pass along this report from Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish:

The Chicago Cubs will purchase the contract of outfielder Darnell McDonald from Triple-A Iowa, a source has confirmed to MLBDailyDish. McDonald will be added to the Cubs' roster once corresponding 25- and 40-man roster moves are made.

Since the injuries to Thomas Neal and Dioner Navarro, the Cubs have been playing with just four outfielders on the roster (David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz, Junior Lake and Cole Gillespie). Navarro could be the move:

If Navarro's MRI isn't good, it would make sense for him to be replaced with McDonald, since the Cubs recalled J.C. Boscan from Triple-A Iowa to back up Welington Castillo. That still leaves the question of who would be taken off the 40-man roster to make room for McDonald. If the injury to Navarro is serious enough, he could be placed on the 60-day DL to make room; that would end Navarro's season. If Navarro can come back after a 15-day DL stint, Trey McNutt is a DFA candidate, or possibly even Dave Sappelt.

McDonald isn't having a very good year at Iowa -- .236/.307/.346 in 263 at-bats. He's 34 and would clearly be just a placeholder until the Cubs can get some more reinforcements when rosters expand in September.

The MLBDD item doesn't say, but I assume this move, if made, will happen before Saturday's game. Either McDonald or Boscan, whoever appears in a game first, will be the 50th Cub to appear in 2013. The team record is 53, set last year.