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.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.