Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Overbay Key To Unjamming The Right Side

The Bucs went under the radar and landed Lyle Overbay, 33, as a free-agent first baseman today. He signed a one-year deal, reportedly for $5M.

Overbay, a lefty, has been a starter the past five years at Toronto and the two seasons prior to that at Milwaukee while earning a thermos of coffee in Arizona during his first three years of MLB. His lifetime line is .274/122/524 with an OBP of .358, and he's got a solid mitt.

Last year was one of his worse in the show, hitting .243/20/67. Still, at his age, the Bucs can probably wring another year or two out of him, and he appreciably improves the defense on the right side.

His addition, along with Matt Diaz, does a lot to break up the logjam of players around first base and right field. Overbay will get the lion's share of work at first (he hasn't played in fewer than 122 games since 2003), with Steve Pearce going mano-a-mano with Andy Marte for the back-up bench spot.

Garrett Jones (the smoke signals coming from the FO pow-wow indicate that Dewey's Bucco days are just about done) will share right with Diaz. John Bowker and Jeff Clement are both looking hard at starting 2011 at Indy or with a new club.

Hey, who knows? Maybe they'll surprise us and find another starter next, although we suspect their next move will be to solidify the bullpen. If they ink a veteran back-ender, then the FO can play the Joel Hanrahan/Evan Meek card this year.

Let the games go on.

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