Playing in New England will be a return home, of sorts, for McDonald, 38, who is a New London, Conn., native and Providence College graduate.
Farrell said before Saturday's game against the White Sox that the team would look to call up an infielder when rosters expand Sunday, and McDonald seems to fit that bill perfectly. He has played mostly shortstop (19 games) and third base (16 games) while also seeing time at second (five games) this season.
"He's a premium defender at all three positions," Farrell said. "He'll serve as depth particularly in the middle of the infield. He can obviously also play third base, but we felt like even though we put Will [Middlebrooks] at second base a couple times, if something were to happen unforeseen, we now have someone who's not only tested but very seasoned at second base as well."
Farrell and third-base coach Brian Butterfield are at least somewhat familiar with their newest infielder from when they coached him with the Blue Jays.
"We've been looking out for this type of player," Farrell said. "We know him obviously. … He will fit in very well with this team right now."
McDonald owns a .098 average with a .179 OBP and .164 slugging mark in 68 plate appearances in 2013, collecting one double and one home run. In 999 Major League games, McDonald is a career .235/.274/.327 hitter.
The Red Sox will be the seventh different organization in McDonald's 15 seasons, including his fourth of 2013. He was traded from the D-backs to the Pirates in March, then to the Indians in June before going to the Phillies two and a half weeks later. All three transactions were for a player to be named or cash.
This time, it was for Ogando, a 24-year-old reliever who signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in June 2010. In 33 games for High Class A Salem this season, Ogando owns a 4.09 ERA and 1.38 WHIP across 55 innings.
Right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for McDonald on the 40-man roster.
Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.