Camden native Mike MacDonald is preparing to head back to spring training in the coming days for yet another season of professional baseball.

A 2000 graduate of then Camden-Rockport High School, MacDonald signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants organization last month and will begin his seventh season of professional baseball in a few weeks.

Spring training begins for pitchers and catchers on Friday, March 5 in Scottsdale, Ariz. MacDonald is a right-handed pitcher.

After five seasons of bouncing back and forth between the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the AAA Syracuse Chiefs in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, MacDonald signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization and became a starting pitcher for the Salt Lake City Bees, their AAA affiliate.

MacDonald played four years of varsity baseball for the Windjammers before heading to Orono to play for the Black Bears at the University of Maine. He was then drafted by the Blue Jays in 2004.

After the Angles opted not to attempt to resign MacDonald at the end of last season, he spent much of the winter testing the free agent waters.

“I wasn’t sure who I was going to sign with or if I was going to sign,” said MacDonald. “But I was still working out and getting ready and as it turned out, it worked out well that I signed with the Giants’ [organization] and now I’m ready to go.”

The former Windjammer and Black Bear is not sure where he will begin the season, but signs point to either the AAA Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League or the AA Connecticut Defenders of the Eastern League.

MacDonald finished last season with the Bees starting in 27 of his 30 mound appearances. The 6-foot-1-inch right-hander finished the season second in strikeouts (80), games started (27) and innings pitched (147) for the Bees, MacDonald ended the season with a 6.37 earned run average and also gave up 109 runs (104 earned) and 181 hits.

“It’s nice,” said MacDonald of signing with the Giants. “It’s a good chance to go into spring training and compete for a job.”

MacDonald has been in the Pine Tree State during the offseason doing both public and private pitching clinics for children in the Scarborough area. He had also been working out in preparation for the upcoming season, even though his future for a portion of the winter had been in doubt.

But after MacDonald’s agent, David Abrahamson, began to get into talks with the Giants, they quickly realized it was an opportunity they could not pass up.

“[He] called around and talked to different people [within the Giants’ organization] and went over different things with them and they decided that they wanted to sign me,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald said he and Abrahamson did not engage in much discussion with other clubs, as they “had something they liked” with the Giants.

MacDonald added that one of the likely components the Giants were impressed with was his ability to be able to perform on the mound either in a starting or relieving capacity. MacDonald spent most of his five years in the Blue Jays’ organization filling both roles.

“I think that had something to do with it,” he said. “It’s always nice for them to be able to have someone that’s done both. Over my career I’ve been able to make my starts or make my appearances and throw a lot of innings. So I think that was a good benefit for me as well. I think this is a good fit for both sides.”

MacDonald is not sure what his role will be or which team he will be assigned to, as all those questions will be answered at the conclusion of spring training.

“Right now I have a contract to go to spring training and compete for a job, and then from there, it’s hard to say,” he said. “That’s one of those things that will work itself out. Where they send me is where they send me.”

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.