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.

Cubs place Ben Zobrist on 10-day disabled list with back soreness

Ben Zobrist
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Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.

Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.

With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.