Pirates designate Lyle Overbay for assignment after Derrek Lee trade

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Lyle Overbay got one last start at first base yesterday because Derrek Lee took his time reporting after the Pirates acquired him from the Orioles.

Overbay smacked a two-run homer, going deep for just the eighth time in 352 at-bats, and today the Pirates designated the 34-year-old for assignment.

He wasn’t worth Pittsburgh’s one-year, $5 million investment after showing signs of decline in Toronto last season, but Overbay might find a place on a contender’s roster as a left-handed bench bat. After all, he’s been landing starting jobs despite mediocre production for a decade now.

In fact, Overbay is one of the least productive first basemen in decades. He has a .793 OPS in 4,836 plate appearances. The only first basemen with a lower OPS in more plate appearances during the past 20 years are J.T. Snow and Eric Karros.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.