Lyle Overbay was a simple cut at the end of Red Sox’ spring training, an extra player as the team trimmed its ranks to 25 for Opening Day.
That’s how the Red Sox probably see it, at least, but for Overbay, who was scooped up by the Yankees to start at first base, it was a little more than that. Overbay, 36, is trying to prove that he still can play at a big league level, and he’s been stacking up the evidence.
Overbay is getting everyday playing time with New York, which desperately needed help after losing Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira to injuries. On Thursday night, Overbay singled in two runs — the deciding margin in the Yankees’ first win of the season. The victory also salvaged the final game of what could have been a series sweep.
For Overbay, it was a chance to compare the two teams he played with this spring.
“That’s more satisfying for me than anything else,” he said of getting the win, according to the New York Post. “You’re over there [with the Red Sox] getting prepared for the season. Their coaches are preparing you, and then all of a sudden you’re on a different team and flip-flopped for the opening series.”
Overbay said he knows his time starting for the Yankees is limited, but he’s happy to have a roster spot. The Red Sox cut him March 26 as they elected to fill their outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava, and the Yankees signed Overbay soon after. He could be displaced when Teixeira returns, but that is still a ways away.
“I’m trying to help this team win. That’s the biggest concern,” Overbay said. “When [Teixeira is] ready, he’s ready. I understand that. There’s so many things that can happen. It can change. Hopefully, there’s a [way for] me to coexist.”
So far, the Yankees have given him just that.