Pirates Sign Lyle Overbay
Overbay isn’t the most inspiring free agent addition. He’s coming off a .243/.329/.433 line in 534 at-bats in 2010, with 20 homers during that span. The left hander has been better in his career against right handed hitters, with an .838 OPS, compared to a .709 OPS against right handers. His splits over the last few seasons:
2010: .781 OPS in 408 AB vs RHP / .700 OPS in 126 AB vs LHP
2009: .905 OPS in 344 AB vs RHP / .534 OPS in 79 AB vs LHP
2008: .865 OPS in 395 AB vs RHP / .540 OPS in 149 AB vs LHP
The Overbay addition will likely lead to a platoon between Garrett Jones and Matt Diaz in right field. It also could lead to a platoon between Overbay and Steve Pearce at first base, since Overbay struggles against left handers, and Pearce has success in that area.
The addition could also mean that the Pirates will deal Ryan Doumit. The additions of Diaz and Kevin Correia aren’t official yet, so the Pirates have two open spots on the 40-man roster prior to this move. However, one spot will need to be created once all of the moves are official. Doumit doesn’t have a role on the roster, outside of a very expensive backup catcher. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dealt soon, to create that needed spot on the 40-man roster.
UPDATE 2:05 PM: Jennifer Langosch talked to Neal Huntington, who mentions that this move puts Jones in right field with Diaz, and moves Doumit to a bench role. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see Doumit traded soon.
UPDATE 2:42 PM: Rob Biertempfel reports that Overbay will receive $5 M, and will be the everyday first baseman. That would bring the projected payroll up to $41 M in 2011.