Pirates designate Lyle Overbay for assignment after Derrek Lee trade

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Lyle Overbay got one last start at first base yesterday because Derrek Lee took his time reporting after the Pirates acquired him from the Orioles.

Overbay smacked a two-run homer, going deep for just the eighth time in 352 at-bats, and today the Pirates designated the 34-year-old for assignment.

He wasn’t worth Pittsburgh’s one-year, $5 million investment after showing signs of decline in Toronto last season, but Overbay might find a place on a contender’s roster as a left-handed bench bat. After all, he’s been landing starting jobs despite mediocre production for a decade now.

In fact, Overbay is one of the least productive first basemen in decades. He has a .793 OPS in 4,836 plate appearances. The only first basemen with a lower OPS in more plate appearances during the past 20 years are J.T. Snow and Eric Karros.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.