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.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.