PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 31: Lyle Overbay #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratualted by teammates after hitting a two run home run during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 31, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 6-5. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates reached an agreement with the Baltimore Orioles to bring over veteran first baseman Derrek Lee. That meant the writing was on the wall for incumbent first baseman Lyle Overbay, and now, from Dejan Kovacevic, we get some unsurprising news:
Hearing #Pirates have told Lyle Overbay he will be DFA.
This isn't yet confirmed, but it makes sense. Overbay hasn't produced, he's out of a job, and he's on a one-year contract that's done in two months.
It didn't have to be this way, of course. Between 2008-2010, Overbay posted a 110 OPS+ with the Blue Jays. He wasn't a power hitter, but he could hit for power, and he could draw a walk and play some defense, too. It was enough to make him a half-decent player, so the Pirates signed him for $5 million last December. Overbay looked like a reasonable stopgap until the Pirates mattered, and had someone better.
But then the Pirates started to matter ahead of schedule, and then Overbay didn't produce, which put him under a microscope he probably didn't expect. Overbay batted nearly 400 times as the Pirates' regular first baseman, and he hit .227 with a .649 OPS. As you can understand, that wasn't enough, and a change has been made as the Pirates try like hell to stick around in the NL Central.
Given that Overbay's 34, one wonders if this is it. He could get a minor league contract over the winter, but he might never make it back to the majors. If that's the case, then he played his final game on Sunday, and drilled a two-run homer off Vance Worley to give the Pirates the lead. Not altogether the worst way to go out.