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 Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.