Red Sox sign Lyle Overbay as Mike Napoli fallback plan

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Veteran first baseman Lyle Overbay has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

Overbay should have a decent shot at claiming a backup job thanks to Mike Napoli’s hip problems, which could require some days off and/or late-inning defensive replacements. And if nothing else the left-handed-hitting Overbay is a decent bat to have off the bench.

Overbay was said to be talking to the Brewers about a job following Corey Hart’s knee surgery, but that apparently fell through. Last season he hit .259 with a .727 OPS in 65 games for the Braves and Diamondbacks and was even worse in 2011, so at age 36 he’d be stretched if needed for regular action.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.