We heard a few weeks ago that Lyle Overbay wasn’t drawing much interest on the free agent market, but he is finally getting some calls with spring training right around the corner.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Phillies are among the teams who are talking to Overbay about a minor league deal. The 37-year-old has surely been holding out hope for a major league deal until now, but that might be the best he can do at this point of the winter.
Overbay had his moments with the Yankees last season while Mark Teixeira was sidelined due to a wrist injury, slugging 14 home runs in 142 games. However, he posted a meager .516 OPS in 125 plate appearances against southpaws and will likely never get that much playing time again. However, he could surely hang on for another year or two as a backup first baseman and left-handed bench bat.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.
That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.
Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reports that the Nationals are expected to consider Cal Ripken Jr. for their managerial vacancy. Ripken, of course, was recently reported to have been considered by the club the last time the job was open.
This could be a courtesy. And if you’re a Nats fan, you have to hope it is, right? Because the single biggest argument in favor of Matt Williams when he was hired was that he was a top player in his day, wasn’t too far removed from his playing career and could be a good clubhouse guy who understood what made major leaguers tick. His lack of experience was brushed off. All of which would be the same thing for Ripken, except he doesn’t even have the coaching experience Williams had and is even farther removed from his playing days.
I know he’s famous and everything, but if the Nationals’ 2015 season is evidence of anything, perhaps it should be evidence that sometimes it’s useful to have a manager who has actually, you know, made a pitching change once in his professional life.