Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Lyle Overbay. He’ll replace Xavier Nady, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured left hand on a hit by a pitch during last night’s win over the Mets.
Overbay will receive a prorated portion of the major league minimum salary and is expected to share playing time with rookie Paul Goldschmidt at first base.
Overbay, 34, was released by the Pirates earlier this week after batting .227/.300/.349 with eight homers, 37 RBI and a .649 OPS over 391 plate appearances. It isn’t saying much, but he actually represents something of an improvement over Nady, who was hitting .248/.287/.359 with four homers, 35 RBI and a .645 OPS over 223 plate appearances. While his defense has fallen off a bit this year according to advanced metrics, Overbay is also regarded as a better fielder at first base.
Overbay was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 18th round of the 1999 draft. He batted .271/.357/.391 with four home runs and 29 RBI over 305 plate appearances with Arizona from 2001-2003 before being traded to the Brewers in the Richie Sexson deal.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.