The Pirates have signed free agent first baseman Lyle Overbay to a one-year contract, the team announced on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately known.
Overbay, 34, comes to Pittsburgh after spending the last five seasons with Toronto. Overbay, who made $24 million over the past four years, hit .243 with 37 doubles, 20 homers and 67 RBIs in 154 games last season. He is a career .274 hitter since breaking into the Majors with Arizona in 2001.
Overbay’s .996 fielding percentage last year ranked second best in the American League. He led all AL first baseman in double plays (150) and assists (101).
“Lyle Overbay is a solid Major League player, and we expect him to have a positive impact on our club offensively, defensively and in the clubhouse,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement.
– Jenifer Langosch
Because the Dodgers aren’t sure whether Vicente Padilla will be a starter, middle reliever or closer, the contract they gave him last week covers all three roles and is one of the most elaborate, incentive-filled in club history.
It begins with a $2 million guaranteed base. As a reliever, Padilla will receive bonuses of $250,000 each for 40 and 50 relief appearances; $500,000 each for 60, 70 and 80 relief appearances; $750,000 each for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 games finished; and $150,000 each for 35 and 45 relief appearances which he enters games with the Dodgers leading by three or fewer runs.
As a starter, Padilla will receive $1 million for 12 starts and 70 innings pitched as a starter; $1 million each for 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30 and 33 starts.
All of the bonuses — a total of $14.3 million — are deferred without interest. – Ken Gurnick
NEW YORK — The Yankees have agreed to terms on a contract with Russell Martin, multiple sources told MLB.com on Monday. Details of the deal, which is contingent on a physical and will not be made official until Martin does so, were not immediately available.
Martin was said to have been deciding between the Red Sox and Blue Jays.
Martin, 27, was deemed among the best catchers in the National League from 2007-08, when he was a back-to-back All-Star while compiling a .286 batting average, .380 on-base percentage and 32 homers for the Dodgers. But after a down year in 2009, Martin played 97 games in 2010 and then missed the rest of the season with a broken hip.
– Alden Gonzalez
Free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee is headed back to Philadelphia.
The Rangers worked as hard as they could to re-sign Lee, but their pursuit came to an end on Monday when he informed the club that he was signing with the Phillies. Lee apparently took less years and less money to re-sign with the Phillies. Lee agreed to a five-year deal with a vesting option for a sixth season that could bring the total to $120 million.
“Cliff called me,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said late Monday night. “He was very classy. He was very appreciative of the time he was here and how he was treated. He and his family enjoyed his time here. He also enjoyed his time in Philadelphia and liked some of the things that opportunity had to offer.”
The Rangers and the Yankees had been considered the front-runners to sign Lee, but the Phillies have pushed hard since the Winter Meetings and won the pursuit. Lee pitched for the Phillies for the final two months of the 2009 season and, as he did with the Rangers this past season, helped them reach the World Series.
The Phillies traded him to the Mariners last winter. The Rangers acquired him from the Mariners on July 9.
Once thought to be a contest that seriously included just the Yankees and the Rangers, Cliff Lee‘s courtship now includes the Phillies, according to a report from FOXSports on Monday night.
NEW YORK — While the Yankees await on the decision of one Cliff Lee, they have “continued to be aggressive” on free-agent catcher Russell Martin, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on his Twitter account Monday, adding that it “would not be a surprise if we heard at any time of an agreement” between the two sides.
Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran, didn’t immediately return a phone call from MLB.com seeking comment.
Non-tendered by the Dodgers, Martin has reportedly garnered the most serious interest from three American League East clubs — the Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays. Of the three, the Red Sox appear to be the least interested.
With the aging Jorge Posada serving mostly as a designated hitter next year, New York is expected to go into the season with Jesus Montero, Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli competing for playing time behind the plate. But general manager Brian Cashman has said he’s open to acquiring outside help. As of now, Montero is deemed by many as the favorite.
Martin, 27, was a back-to-back All-Star and among the National League’s best catchers from 2007-08. But after a down year in 2009, he was limited to 97 games in 2010 because of a broken hip.
– Alden Gonzalez