Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lyle Overbay to the Mariners?

Recently, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported that the Mariners and Blue Jays are discussing a deal that would land 1B Lyle Overbay in Seattle.

Certainly, such a deal could make sense for the Blue Jays, who have been looking to shed payroll for a while now, even after ridding themselves of Scott Rolen and Alex Rios. Overbay isn't really overpaid at $7M for 2010, but he lacks the top-notch power that is generally expected from the first base position. He makes up for the lack of home run power with good plate discipline (14.9% walk rate in 2009) and decent gap power (30+ doubles in each of the past six years), he's durable, and he's solid defensively, so he's certainly worthy of everyday time.

I'm not sure that he fits into the Mariners' lineup perfectly, they really lack impact power in that lineup, especially with the departure of Adrian Beltre, but the Mariners could certainly use every good bat that they can find, especially if you consider that they resigned Ken Griffey Jr. earlier this afternoon.

I wouldn't be remotely surprised to see the Blue Jays deal Overbay this winter, not only to free up payroll, but also some playing time. Assuming that the Jays tender Edwin Encarnacion a contract, they'll have to find playing time for Encarnacion, Vernon Wells, Travis Snider, Adam Lind, Randy Ruiz and Jose Bautista between first base, third base, the outfield, and designated hitter.

Overbay is a nice piece, but realistically, the Jays aren't going to be contending in 2010, and trying to get some value for him now could be a nice first move by Alex Anthopolous.


  1. Sounds like the Jays are going to unload Overbay somewhere - they were already in talks with the D-Backs earlier this week to send Overbay to the desert.

    He's a very underrated player and found fit in well on any roster, so long as he has a starting firstbaseman's job. Part of the reason why he was so discontent in Toronto was his dislike for Cito Gaston platooning him at first with Kevin Millar.

  2. Hey, found your blog off mlbtraderumors - figured i'd check it out.

    i think it's smart for Overbay to be dealt. I'm not sure that he's a proven everyday player though, his stats against LHP are pretty weak.

    Also, Encarnacion already has a contract for next year, his arb. years were bought out. I don't think Bautista will be offered arb., he'd be making way more than he's worth.

  3. Yeah, I thought that Encarnacion was arbitration eligible, I guess that the Blue Jays had to take on that salary in order to get Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke from the Reds for Rolen.

    As for Bautista, he flashed some awfully nice plate discipline in 2009, and he's a solid defender, so I wouldn't be surprised if they retained him for 2010, depending on how much payroll flexibility they have, and obviously trading Overbay plays into that.

    Bautista is far more likely to return if Overbay isn't around.