Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Lyle Overbay. He’ll replace Xavier Nady, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured left hand on a hit by a pitch during last night’s win over the Mets.
Overbay will receive a prorated portion of the major league minimum salary and is expected to share playing time with rookie Paul Goldschmidt at first base.
Overbay, 34, was released by the Pirates earlier this week after batting .227/.300/.349 with eight homers, 37 RBI and a .649 OPS over 391 plate appearances. It isn’t saying much, but he actually represents something of an improvement over Nady, who was hitting .248/.287/.359 with four homers, 35 RBI and a .645 OPS over 223 plate appearances. While his defense has fallen off a bit this year according to advanced metrics, Overbay is also regarded as a better fielder at first base.
Overbay was originally drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 18th round of the 1999 draft. He batted .271/.357/.391 with four home runs and 29 RBI over 305 plate appearances with Arizona from 2001-2003 before being traded to the Brewers in the Richie Sexson deal.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.