Lyle Overbay Rumors
- Scott Miller of CBS Sports says it's starting to seem likely that the Rangers will move Neftali Feliz to the rotation.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan argues that the Rangers will keep Feliz in the rotation, where he has pitched this spring, if they know what's best.
- Rival teams sense that the Rangers would prefer to move Michael Young before his ten and five rights kick in this May, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). They won't give him away, though.
- Boof Bonser has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt out if he doesn't make the Mets, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). The Mets would love to keep Bonser regardless, but he isn't sure what he'll do if he isn't on the team's Opening Day roster.
- Richard Sandomir and Ken Belson of the New York Times report that the Mets' owners were in financial trouble before Irving Picard filed a $1 billion lawsuit against them.
- One talent evaluator tells Olney that Carl Pavano looks like the best pitcher in Florida this spring (Twitter link).
- Lyle Overbay told Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he signed with the Pirates because "they were going in a better direction" than some of the other interested teams. Overbay, the oldest player on the Pirates roster, says he liked the idea of playing under new manager Clint Hurdle.
Links for Sunday, as Opening Day inches a little closer....
- Ken Fidlin of The Toronto Sun spoke to Lyle Overbay, who said several teams showed interest in him this offseason, but "Pittsburgh was real aggressive." Overbay joined the Pirates on a one-year deal worth $5MM.
- Jeremy Accardo told Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun that the Orioles made it obvious how highly they valued him when they pursued him this offseason. "I'm happy to get a new, fresh start, a fresh look, a fresh mindset," said Accardo. "I think I stumbled into something pretty special here."
- The Twins are high on Scott Diamond, their Rule V Draft pick, and could swing a trade with the Braves to keep Diamond but send him to Triple-A, tweets Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
- Jordan Lyles could win the Astros' fifth starter job out of Spring Training, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Lyles, just 20 years old, was selected 38th in the 2008 draft -- a supplemental pick for losing Trever Miller to free agency. His main competition includes Nelson Figueroa and Ryan Rowland-Smith.
- Jason Giambi may have been joking when he informed Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he was going to try to stick around until teammate Troy Tulowitzki's contract expires in 2020. However, Giambi told SI.com's Jon Heyman that he does plan to play for as long as he can (Twitter links).
- After his two-year extension with the White Sox was announced, Matt Thornton spoke about the deal and expressed a desire to finish his career in Chicago. Scott Reifert has the details and quotes at MLB.com.
- In his latest Indians mailbag, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer discusses the signings of Orlando Cabrera and Chad Durbin, as well as the possibility of a Fausto Carmona trade.
- One of the minor leaguers the Marlins acquired in last summer's Jorge Cantu trade saw his first game action today since returning from Tommy John surgery, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
The fact that the Pirates haven't had a winning season since 1992 isn't stopping new manager Clint Hurdle from aiming high in 2011. Speaking to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Hurdle said that "people can laugh," but Pittsburgh will head into the season with the goal of winning the NL Central. Here are the latest updates on the Pirates and the rest of the division they hope to win:
- Hurdle was a major factor in Lyle Overbay's decision to sign with the Pirates, as Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains.
- As ESPN's Buster Olney hinted yesterday on Twitter, Albert Pujols is serious about his Spring Training negotiating deadline. In Olney's Insider-only blog, he says that if the deadline passes without an extension in place, "all bets are off. Because the talks will shift from a nice one-on-one conversation between the Cardinals and their star player to being a straight bidding war."
- Cardinals GM John Mozeliak tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that trade rumors surrounding Colby Rasmus were blown out of proportion. According to Mozelieak, most of the calls he received on Rasmus were from teams who were "bottom-fishing," thinking the Cards might part with the 24-year-old at a reduced price.
- The Astros will face a tough decision this year regarding the future of Wandy Rodriguez, writes Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle. Justice expects the team to try to extend the left-hander, a possibility the Astros and Rodriguez have already discussed, but cautions that "the money can't get crazy."
The Pirates signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a one-year, $5MM deal, the team announced. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review provided the amount. The statement from GM Neal Huntington:
"Lyle Overbay is solid major league player and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively, and in the clubhouse."
The Pirates primarily used Garrett Jones at first base in 2010, but they expressed a desire to add a right-handed hitting complement. Overbay doesn't fit that description; GM Neal Huntington told MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch the new plan is to have Jones could pair up with new acquisition Matt Diaz in right field. Overbay will be the everyday first baseman.
Overbay, 34 in January, hit .243/.329/.433 in 607 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year. His performance picked up after a rough start. Overbay is represented by Octagon.
11:44am: The Pirates are moving close to an agreement with Overbay, tweets Morosi.
The Pirates primarily used Garrett Jones at first base in 2010, but they've expressed a desire to add a right-handed hitting complement. Overbay doesn't fit that description, though Jones could pair up with Matt Diaz in right field if Ryan Doumit is traded.
Overbay, 34 in January, hit .243/.329/.433 in 607 plate appearances for the Blue Jays this year.
- The Red Sox have made an offer to reliever Matt Guerrier, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier (as passed along in a tweet from WEEI.com's Rob Bradford).
- Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at how Jay Bruce's extension might influence a future extension offer from the Pirates to Andrew McCutchen.
- Lyle Overbay would be a familiar solution to Toronto's search for a first base/DH partner for Adam Lind, but MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm thinks Overbay "does not appear to be a good fit" since Overbay wants an everyday job. Chisholm's piece also contains several quotes from Alex Anthopoulos from the winter meetings and what the Jays might look to do during the rest of the offseason.
- The Indians and Nick Punto had "meaningful negotiations" at the winter meetings, reports MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.
- Manny Ramirez will receive $15MM in deferred payments from the Dodgers over the next three years and $1.94MM for each of the next 16 years from the Red Sox, reports Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (with a tip of the cap to Cot's Baseball Contracts).
- Larry Stone of the Seattle Times looks back at the 11-year contract Dave Stieb signed with the Blue Jays before the 1985 season.
- Also from Stone, Jack Zduriencik says the Mariners could be in the market for an extra infielder.
Despite a strong finish to the 2010 campaign, first baseman Lyle Overbay is unsure if he has a future with the Blue Jays, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. With changes around the corner in Toronto, Overbay says that he's less-than-thrilled about the prospect of being part of a rebuilding effort.
"The situation has got to be right," the 33-year-old said. "Obviously, it's not going to be a long-term deal. So, if they take a step back, I just don't see myself coming into that. It's not going to help them and it's not going to help me, because I'm not going to be part of the winning part of it."
The Blue Jays have options to turn to if they decide not to retain Overbay, though they all come with question marks. Designated hitter Adam Lind was auditioned at first base this year but GM Alex Anthopoulos admitted that the available sample size (eleven games) was not enough to judge his fielding. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are other possible candidates but Bastian writes that Toronto will look out-of-house for a new first baseman in 2011 if they don't hang on to Overbay.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos met with reporters for an extended media session today, speaking about a wide range of topics. MLB.com's Jordan Bastian brings us the highlights...
- Anthopoulos acknowledged Lyle Overbay's strong finish to the season, but the team's approach for first base is unchanged. They will explore trades and the free agent market with no guarantee that Overbay will return.
- Aaron Hill offered to change positions (third base) if it will help the team. The Jays have until Opening Day of next season to make a decision on the 2012 ($8MM), 2013 ($8MM), and 2014 ($10MM) options in Hill's contract. If they wait until after next season, the 2014 option is voided.
- There is a chance that Edwin Encarnacion will be non-tendered given the raise he's likely to receive through arbitration. Encarnacion earned $4.75MM in 2010 and will be arb eligible for the final time before free agency.
- The Jays are prepared to go to arbitration with 54 HR man Jose Bautista. He earned $2.4MM this year and his salary is likely to jump into the $7-9MM range after his monster season. Bastian doesn't think the two sides will work out a long-term deal this winter.
- Fred Lewis was unhappy when his playing time diminished late in the season. If he's not in the team's plans as a bench player next year, a non-tender could be in order.
- Even with Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, and Jason Frasor all eligible to become free agents in a few weeks, Anthopoulos doesn't consider having veterans in the bullpen a top priority.
- He'd like to add more balance to a lineup that relied primarily on the long ball this season. The Jays led MLB by a large margin with 257 homers, but they finished just ninth with 755 runs scored because of a pedestrian .312 OBP.
- The possibility of keeping catcher John Buck will be explored, but Anthopoulos said he's earned a long-term deal and a starting job, something that might not work with top prospect J.P. Arencibia having nothing left to prove in the minors.
- The Blue Jays are not operating with a specific payroll; the GM has the ability to adjust the finances as he sees fit. That gives them more flexibility when looking at free agent and trade scenarios.
- There are no more front office hirings in the immediate future, but one thing they're considering is someone with more of a computer and statistical analysis background.
- Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press adds that Anthopoulos acknowledged the inherent riskiness of trades, but he still considers it the best way to improve the team and is willing to deal prospects for established big leaguers (Twitter links).
Links for Monday night, as the Phillies extend their NL East lead with an eighth consecutive win....
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provides a lengthy preview of the 2011 Pirates, speculating about how the team may improve its roster.
- Ozzie Guillen tells Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that he has no idea whether the White Sox' front office plans to retain Bobby Jenks next year.
- The Toronto Sun's Ken Fidlin believes that questions about J.P. Arencibia behind the plate and Adam Lind at first base mean that the Jays could attempt to bring back John Buck and Lyle Overbay.
- Ed Price of AOL FanHouse reports (via Twitter) that Logan White is out of the running in the Diamondbacks' search for a general manager. ESPN.com's Buster Olney confirms (via Twitter) that it appears to be a two-man race between Kevin Towers and Jerry Dipoto. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports suggests that the D'Backs are torn between the appeal of Towers and loyalty to Dipoto; they should name a GM this week.
- Joe Torre hasn't ruled out managing the Mets or another club, writes Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork. Torre told WFAN: "I don't really anticipate managing again, but I think it would be unfair not to listen just out of curiosity to see if something excites me."
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets that Coco Crisp would like to return to Oakland next year, though he knows he'll have little say in whether his 2011 option is exercised.
The Red Sox are seven games out in the wild card, with a 6.3% chance at the playoffs according to Baseball Prospectus. However, keep in mind that BP's report is not aware of the team's injuries. Still, GM Theo Epstein told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, "It's not all about the math." The Red Sox aren't quitting on the season, despite trading Manny Delcarmen yesterday.
According to Cafardo, the Red Sox were close to a deal for Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay. Overbay cleared waivers several weeks ago, but is now dealing with post-concussion symptoms.
In offseason-related news, Cafardo says the Sox "have at least talked to Victor Martinez about a two-year offer." Boston's catcher is hitting .309/.350/.505 since May 1st and has reportedly shown improved defense. He's earning $7.7MM this year, and I doubt he'd forgo free agency without a raise. He's probably looking for more than two years, too.