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After a five year stay in Toronto, Lyle Overbay is heading back to the National League after inking a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates last month.

Overbay gets ready for action against the Orioles on 80's Night at the Dome July 26th.

Overbay fires a warm-up toss to second base in between innings against the Cardinals at the Dome June 24th.

Overbay swings away against the Cardinals Adam Wainwright in the second inning.  He would reach first on an error by Cards second baseman Aaron Miles.

Overbay appears to hover from third base after advancing on a Jose Molina double.

Overbay comes in to score on a Fred Lewis sac fly behind Cards catcher Yadier Molina.  That was the Jays fourth run in an eventual 5-0 victory over St. Louis.

Overbay manning first against the Cardinals.  He made just six errors and had a fielding percentage of .996 in 2010.

Overbay goes down swinging against the Rangers Tommy Hunter September 6th at the Dome.  However, he had a 2-for-3 afternoon at the plate with a pair of doubles, a walk and a run scored.

Overbay makes a putout against the Rangers.  He ranked first in the American League in Range Factor per game at first base from 2006 to 2008 and led the AL with a .998 fielding percentage in 2009.

Overbay smiles back at Vernon Wells as the Jays get set to put the finishing touches on a 7-2 win over the Rangers.

Overbay touches home plate after belting his 13th homer of the season to score Jose Bautista and pinch runner John McDonald in the seventh inning.  Overbay's blast against Chad Qualls capped an eight homer day for the Jays and they needed all of them as they held off the Rays 17-11 at the Dome August 7th.
Lyle Overbay, the pride of Centralia, Washington, began his career back in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks after he was selected from the University of Nevada in the 18th round of the 1999 amateur draft.  He singled in his first at-bat against Colorado's Jay Powell September 19th but he was not on the World Series roster as the D-Backs beat the Damn Yankees in 7 games.  The 6-foot-2, 235 pound first baseman had just one hit in 10 at-bats in 2002 but saw action in 86 games in 2003 in which he hit .276/.365./402 with four homers and 28 runs batted in.

Overbay was traded to Milwaukee in the Richie Sexson deal and became a fan favourite with the Brewers after hitting .301/.385/.478 in 2004 with a league-leading 53 doubles as well as one triple, 16 homers and 87 RBI.  He followed that up with 34 doubles and 19 homers in 2005 along with a .276/.367/.449 batting line.  However, Milwaukee sent Overbay and right-hander Ty Taubenheim to Toronto for righty Dave Bush, lefty Zach Jackson and outfielder Gabe Gross

Overbay's first season in a Jays uniform was his best as he hit .312/.372/.508 with 46 doubles, one triple, 22 homers and 92 RBI.  His first double was a 12th inning game winner against the Red Sox at the Dome to drive home Troy Glaus from first with the winning run April 21.  Signed to a four year deal worth $24-million dollars, Overbay had trouble justifying his newfound wealth.  His 2007 campaign was curtailed after he was hit in the hand by a pitch in early June against the White Sox.  He also drew the wrath of Jays fans for hitting into a league leading 24 double plays in 2008 and hit into an unassisted triple play turned by the Indians Asdrubal Cabrera.  The left-handed hitting first baseman slugged .466 in 2009 and reached the 20 homer mark again with the Jays in 2010.  The 33 year-old Overbay slugged 83 homers during his five year stay with the Jays and drove in 336 runs.  He batted .268/.350/.446 overall with Toronto and racked up 180 doubles.  Though he never won a Gold Glove, Overbay was pretty reliable with the leather among other things.

By the way, Overbay and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be in Toronto to begin the six game "Pennsylvania Homestand" in 2011.  The Bucs will be at the Dome June 28-30 before Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies are in town for the Canada Day weekend July 1-3.  Best of luck with the Bucs, Lyle!!  It'll be strange not to hear Jays public announcer Tim Langton not say "Lyle OOOOOOOOOOOOverbay" anymore.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
brent - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 08:08 AM EST (#228766) #
Count me as happy that Lyle is moving on. His contract was a good lesson in why locking up a player just for cost certainty is a bad idea. Buying out arb + free agent years (guaranteed) is something you do with your elite talent. Thank goodness GM AA has options instead for Hill and Lind.
Mike Green - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 09:00 AM EST (#228767) #
For pure rooting interest, Overbay was our guy this year.  When we saw him early in the year, he looked totally messed up at the plate.  The stance, the timing...everything was wrong.  Watching him get righted was one of the many pleasures of last season.  I wish him the best in Pittsburgh. 
cybercavalier - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 10:39 AM EST (#228769) #
All the best with the Bucs, Lyle. I think he shall enjoy his time there.

I just noticed the Bucs has 3 catchers on active roster, including switching hittier Jaramillo and Doumit: the later can play multiple position but is in the final season of a 5.1M 3 year contract. Left hand-batting Jeff Clement, the four catcher but converted to firstbaseman, is a NRI. Am I the only one guessing the Jays can get one of the Jaramillo and Doumit as the third catcher and occasional starting catcher for JPA. After the Jose success in T.O., we can afford to trade for a "Buc".
cybercavalier - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 10:45 AM EST (#228770) #
Ooops, not having enough tea today, especially with my typing. Anyhow, the Jays can trade for a "Buc": it seems the Bucs roster are filling with talented young players, whom AA are looking for.
92-93 - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 11:21 AM EST (#228773) #

I liked Lyle a lot and it's probably partially due to how bad the average Jays fan erroneously thought he was. He was a great scooper, had solid range, and has a cannon for an arm (I always loved seeing him rifle it over to 3B and nail a guy trying to take that extra base). It's too bad people think a 1B has to hit 25+ HR annually to be a success because I considered Lyle to be a very good player and was happy that he provided the Jays with pretty much exactly what they paid for. Also, for a guy everybody assumes is slow, I actually found Overbay's base-running to be decent for that speed.

"His contract was a good lesson in why locking up a player just for cost certainty is a bad idea. Buying out arb + free agent years (guaranteed) is something you do with your elite talent. Thank goodness GM AA has options instead for Hill and Lind."

While I probably thought the Hill extension was a good one, I have to disagree there Brent. The Blue Jays guaranteed Hill 2.6-4-5 for his 3 arbitration years a year before they had to, and I assume that was done to get those 3 team friendly option FA years. But how valuable was an 8m option on Hill back then projected to be if the contract Uggla just signed makes him the highest paid 2B ever? Did the Jays really think Hill was about to become Chase Utley, so they HAD to guarantee all that money just for the options? If Hill never returns from his 2008 concussion that was 11.6m down the drain because they extended a guy who wasn't even in arbitration yet.

Same thing with Lind (and that deal I know I commented on trying to temper the enthusiasm) - with DHs all over the place signing for bubkas, how important was it to lock up Lind's arbitration years for 17m just so you could have the 3 club options at 8m? Especially when you consider his lack of defensive value.

While I understand the desire for cost-certainty and how that makes a GMs job easier to plan the future, I sometimes get the impression that the teams are assuming too much of the risk in these contracts even when they think they are coming out ahead. I said the same thing when Ricky Romero was given Jon Lester's contract half a season before Lester was - why didn't AA wait until this winter? By extending him in August for the same deal that equal if not better pitchers got, he put the Blue Jays' ass on the line in case Romero got injured and required TJ or whatever over the final 6+ weeks of the season. Thankfully he only went on to post 63ip of 4.57era, but I think Romero's contract should have guaranteed slightly less than a Lester/Verlander since it was being signed earlier.

Magpie - Friday, January 14 2011 @ 04:21 PM EST (#228779) #
What 92-93 said.

I always had something of a soft spot for Overbay. The first time I ever saw him play, when he was still with the Brewers, I watched him standing in front of the visitors dugout while some kids sang the anthems. When they were done, he actually applauded. I thought it was rather sweet, and of course it's extremely unusual behaviour from a major league player....
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