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Red Sox sign Lyle Overbay as Mike Napoli fallback plan

Jan 31, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Veteran first baseman Lyle Overbay has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

Overbay should have a decent shot at claiming a backup job thanks to Mike Napoli‘s hip problems, which could require some days off and/or late-inning defensive replacements. And if nothing else the left-handed-hitting Overbay is a decent bat to have off the bench.

Overbay was said to be talking to the Brewers about a job following Corey Hart‘s knee surgery, but that apparently fell through. Last season he hit .259 with a .727 OPS in 65 games for the Braves and Diamondbacks and was even worse in 2011, so at age 36 he’d be stretched if needed for regular action.

  1. digbysellers - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Was Tony Clark unavailable?

    • professor30 - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      Or Jack Clark for that matter. ” The last person that stole this much money from the Red Sox was Jack Clark.” What movie was that from?

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      I still remember Tony Clark’s triple.

      It was going to bust him out of his slump and then we’d all regret talking crap about him.

    • coloradostupid - Feb 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Dick Clark would have been a better choice, even though he’s dead.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Now they are just screwing with us.

  3. paint771 - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    Boy, between Lyle Overbay, James Loney, and Adam Lind, the majority of the AL East are fielding first basemen that look like they have a ton of potential in 2009.

    • paint771 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:07 PM

      Oh snap – the mysterious thumbs downs have alerted me to the fact that it is, in fact, 2013.

      Sorry guys! False alarm!

  4. proudlycanadian - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    With both Tampa Bay and Boston recently signing Blue Jay discards, Toronto’s off season keeps getting better.

    • bobwsc - Jan 31, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      not too early to secure your spot on the Jays World Series parade route.

  5. bigleagues - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Generally I’ve been pretty happy w/ the Red Sox approach to this off-season.

    But watching Lyle Overbay hit makes me want to jump off a bridge.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      Wear a life jacket or a parachute if you do so. Do not want to lose you.

      • bigleagues - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        LOL! Thank you. Will do.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      If you’re happy with the Red Sox moves this year is it safe to assume you’re not a Red Sox fan?

      “Oh good, they are saving money by making low-cost low-impact signings….I bet they’ll cut ticket prices”


      • Glenn - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:26 PM

        If they want to keep that “sellout streak” alive, they will have to do some ticket price cutting.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:37 PM

        Are you suggesting Jonny Gomes and Mike Napoli and now Lyle Overbay aren’t going to put asses in the seats?


        This team is in it to win it.

      • bigleagues - Feb 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

        I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I AM a Red Sox fan.

        And before I got seduced by the glitz of signing big ticket players to fill needs, I was questioning why the RedSox had gotten away from what had worked for them in 2004… and what had worked for the Yankees before that …. making those lower cost, higher upside signings to build depth, and spread the responsibility of production over a wider swath of players.

        But the most important part is, they will be competitive again this year and have set up payroll in a way that will allow them the ability to integrate the next wave of prospects into the lineup, rather than trade them for highly coveted albeit terrible fit players like Adrian Gonzalez.

  6. hojo20 - Jan 31, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Rock bottom.

  7. jt2663 - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I hope this will be all Smoak and mirrors for something better.

  8. pisano - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    I have a feeling this Boston team is going to surprise a lot of people. They have more offense than people are giving them credit for, and if their starting pitching can be counted on, they have a good bullpen to finish things up. They may end up being the surprise team in the American League East. Just my opinion.

  9. theskinsman - Feb 1, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Ah, the hand wringing over every minor league or depth signing the Red Sox announce. It’s disappointing not to have ufy’s signature ‘it’s a gross overpay for Overbay’ post. But It is early.

  10. john28292 - Feb 1, 2013 at 6:09 AM

    Agreed the Red Sox as built will need too many pitchers, hitters to have career years just to compete. Sure is looking like an 81-81 type team. If the Sox knew about Napoli hip early I am sure they would have given James Loney the $2M that Tampa is paying him. Not sure who has done the free agency evaluation but Sox have been very bad in free agency maybe that is why they are going after tier B & C players this year. Apart from the Scott Boras one year create a market free Sox free agents like Adrian Beltre who was the last big win Red Sox signing?

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