Lyle Overbay predictably cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Pirates last week and has been released, making him a free agent.
Overbay was a bust on a one-year, $5 million deal, hitting just .227 with eight homers and a .649 OPS in 103 games before the Pirates decided to replace him with Derrek Lee at the trade deadline.
Even at his best Overbay was one of the lightest-hitting first basemen among longtime starters and at age 34 he’s unlikely to land another everyday job, but as a veteran left-handed bat he could find a spot on a contender’s bench.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.