The Boston Red Sox released veteran Lyle Overbay on Tuesday, finally admitting what the rest of us already knew—he was not a good fit in Boston.
There’s a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from this release, as I’ve been calling for it since the very day Overbay signed a minor league contract to compete for the backup job at first base. But there’s no satisfaction in the idea that the Red Sox wasted all those spring at-bats on a guy that never should have been brought in to begin with.
Overbay, a 12-year major leaguer, batted just .220 in 41 spring at-bats over 19 games. He failed to hit any homers and struck out 14 times (34 percent of the time). On top of that, as I indicated a couple of weeks back, his effort was severely lacking.
The release means that the Red Sox will almost certainly open the regular season with both Mike Carp and Daniel Nava on the 25-man roster. Each player should see semi-regular at-bats until DH David Ortiz returns from his Achilles injury.
Overbay had a clause in his original contract with the Red Sox stating that if he was not going to make the team, he had to be released at least five days before the season opener. This would allow him time to possibly catch on with another team. According to ESPN, the New York Yankees, who have been plagued by injuries all spring, will bring Overbay in for a workout. Wouldn’t that be ironic? To that I say… They can have him.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)