Discussion: Lyle Overbay’s Future

It's no secret that the Blue Jays were openly shopping Lyle Overbay over the winter, with the first baseman's name popping up in a number of potential deals.  He was rumored to be going to the Mets, then to the Mariners, and actually looked to be on the move to Arizona before the Jays called off a proposed Overbay-for-Chris Snyder trade due to worries over Snyder's injury history.  Opening Day has come and gone and Overbay is still Toronto's first baseman, but there's no doubt the Jays would move Overbay if a good offer came along.

Overbay quietly posted a solid .265/.372/.466 line in 500 plate appearances last season, with that total largely due to a .905 OPS against right-handed pitching (his OPS against southpaws was just .534).  The Jays have been playing Overbay every day, but it's very likely that a trade partner would be looking at Overbay for a platoon or pinch-hitting role given his large career splits — an .844 OPS against righties and a .702 OPS against lefties.

Toronto can afford to be patient with any deal since top prospect Brett Wallace is waiting in the wings at Triple-A and the Blue Jays don't want to start his arbitration clock until it's necessary.  It's also likely that the Jays will have to eat a piece of Overbay's $7MM salary for the season in any deal anyway, so it's not like they'll be saving much money if they trade him sooner rather than later.  Overbay's contract is up after 2010, so a new team would likely be looking at him as just a rental over this season's home stretch.

New York, Seattle and Arizona can be counted out of the Overbay sweepstakes due to their acquisitions of Mike Jacobs, Casey Kotchman and Adam LaRoche, respectively.  There's also another left-handed hitting first baseman who is both available and provides considerably more power than Overbay: Carlos Delgado.  He would be a more expensive option than Overbay, so perhaps a team that doesn't want to meet Delgado's price might look to Toronto as a backup plan.

17 Responses to Discussion: Lyle Overbay’s Future Leave a Reply

  1. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    why would delgado be more expensive than overbay? im pretty sure delgado would play for like 3-3.5million ish. maybe.

    • Agreed. If Delgado could get someone to offer him a contract, it certainly wouldn’t be for $7 mil or more. I think the $3 mil range is more accurate.

    • davidchu 5 years ago

      the jays would be willing to include cash in a trade to cover overbay salary. so if a team has a budget, they could get overbay and only cost them a so so prospect.

  2. (a) Overbay will probably end up being more expensive than Delgado. Overbay makes $7MM this year. I’d be shocked if Delgado signed for more (pro-rated), and of course, Delgado does not cost players, just dollars.

    (b) The Mets did not sign Mike Jacobs to play 1B. But for Daniel Murphy’s injury, Jacobs would be a LH bat off the bench. And Jacobs is quickly falling out of favor. That said, I don’t think the Mets (who have Ike Davis coming up next year if not earlier) have the assets or interest in bringing aboard Overbay.

  3. Overbay will probably be released by the start of May and Wallace called up.

  4. bjsguess 5 years ago

    I think the better statement would be that Delgado offers more upside but carries substantially more risk. I can’t see how he would be more expensive unless Tim is assuming that the Jays eat 3/4’s of Overbay’s remaining contract.

    • Yeah, I don’t know if Delgado can be called a first baseman at this point. I think that he’s at more of the Jim Thome stage, where he’s essentially a DH that’s capable of playing first in an emergency. The reports on Delgado’s defense from the winter were absolutely horrid.

  5. I think I speak for every Jays fan when I say good riddence to Overbay. Too bad, he has no trade value. I’d rather see Ruiz butcher it at first at this point. Don’t get me wrong, Overbay is an OBP machine against righties. But man, ever since that Jon Danks’ HBP he just hasn’t looked the same. He is a platoon player at best. Can’t wait for Wallace.

  6. bigpat 5 years ago

    I’m not sure Mike Jacobs would restrict any team from signing anyone. I don’t think the Mets owe him anything, it was only a minor league deal so they can just let him go. Still, I’m not sure that is the type of move the Mets should be making at this point. Ike Davis needs to take the job in the middle of the season.

  7. smokinjays 5 years ago

    The Jays aren’t trying to contend this year – the article has it right, he’ll be here a while to give Wallace time to develop before starting his arbitration clock. In the meantime, he is not the worst player on the field. The Jays won’t really need to get a player in return. A Rios style deal would recoup some money and get O out of town.

    • The Jays only need to keep Wallace in the minors for a few weeks to get an extra calendar year out of him.

    • Nobody would waiver claim Overbay at a prorated $7M salary. Rios attracted interest from Chicago because he was previously one of the best outfielders in the game and a potential star acquisition at a premium defensive position.

      The Rios situation was very unique. I mean, it was the most costly waiver claim ever by a pretty significant amount.

      • smokinjays 5 years ago

        I should have been more clear – I don’t expect anybody to pick up O’s entire salary in a waiver claim, but I could see a team picking up O and part of his salary, with no players coming back to the Jays. The alternative of course would be to let him play out his last season, hope that he qualifies as type B, hope that he turns down arbitration, and hope that somebody signs him. There are 3 ways for that to go wrong… the Jays should recoup what they can of his salary and put the money to better use.

  8. gs01 5 years ago

    I can’t wait for Overpay to go somewhere’s, he’s getting very frustrating to watch at the plate.

  9. lyleoverpay 5 years ago


  10. lyleoverpay 5 years ago


  11. lyleoverpay 5 years ago

    Bring on Wallace. They should sit O down but they won’t because he’s making $7m & no other team in their right mind wants to take that on. He is brutal…not even batting a buck.
    Who wants to go & watch that crap!

Leave a Reply