Diamondbacks designate Lyle Overbay for assignment

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According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, the Diamondbacks have designated veteran first baseman Lyle Overbay for assignment. The move clears a roster spot for third baseman Chris Johnson, who was acquired from the Astros yesterday.

Overbay, 35, is batting .292/.367/.448 with two home runs, 10 RBI and an .815 OPS over 110 plate appearances this season. However, as Piecoro notes, this includes a brutal 2-for-25 stretch since June 23.

Ryan Wheeler, who was recently promoted from Triple-A Reno, will take over as the backup to Paul Goldschmidt at first base. Overbay was only making $1 million this season, so he figures to generate some trade interest from contending clubs.

UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Reds are expected to pursue Overbay.

The Mets are strongarming Devin Mesoraco into retiring

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The Mets told catcher Devin Mesoraco on Saturday that he will not make the team, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported. Mesoraco, a major league veteran of eight seasons, said he won’t accept a reassignment to Triple-A. According to Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, the Mets will place Mesoraco on the restricted list rather than release him. As a result, Mesoraco is expected to retire from baseball.

This is a bad look for the Mets. Most teams release the major league-caliber players they don’t plan to break camp with so they can pursue opportunities elsewhere. The Mets must really be hurting for catching depth.

Mesoraco, 30, was decent as the Mets’ back-up last season after coming over from the Reds in the Matt Harvey deal, batting .222/.306/.409 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI in 229 plate appearances. Mesoraco is a bit below-average defensively and spent much of the mid-2010’s on the disabled list dealing with hip and shoulder injuries.

On Monday afternoon, the Mets signed free agent catcher René Rivera, per SNY’s Andy Martino. Rivera was recently released by the Giants. He is less potent with the bat than Mesoraco, but a bit better defensively. Rivera will back up Wilson Ramos and Travis d'Arnaud will likely open the season on the injured list. Tomás Nido will be the third-string catcher behind Rivera.