MLB news roundup: Brewers sign Lyle Overbay to minor league deal

Rich Schultz

We take a look at some of the things going on around MLB today, as the Brewers signed Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal, the Cubs announce spring training plans for some of their top prospects and Jurickson Profar wraps up an impressive campaign in the Dominican Winter League.

The Brewers have added yet another first baseman, signing Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal, according to Tom Haudricourt. Overbay is also getting an invitation to major league camp.

The 36-year-old Overbay last played for Milwaukee back in 2005. Since then, the journeyman has made stops with the Blue Jays, Pirates, Yankees and Diamondbacks. He played with the Yankees in 2013 and received a sizable chunk of playing time due to numerous injuries. He hit .240/.295/.393 in 486 plate appearances, but did most of his hitting at Yankee Stadium (.288/.353/.488) while posting a puny .197/.240/.383 on the road. He also disappeared in the second half of the season, posting an OPS over 150 points lower than he did in the first half.

Overbay is just the latest in a string of first base additions for the Brewers. They also signed slugger Mark Reynolds to a minor league deal last week. With Corey Hart missing the entire season, Brewers first basemen in 2013 were an unmitigated disaster, as they collectively posted a hitting line of .206/.259/.370. Neither Overbay nor Reynolds hit particularly well last season as evidenced by their receiving minor league deals, but they both would have been significant upgrades on what the Brewers trotted out there.

Cubs' top prospects to get invite to major league spring training

Top Cubs prospects Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora will each get a shot to play with the big leaguers during spring training, according to Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune. Cubs' president Theo Epstein said Saturday that the trio will be invited to major league spring training as non-roster invitees. Though chances are slim that any of them will break camp with the Cubs, their first time in major league camp will be a good opportunity for them to showcase their skills against high-level talent.

The Cubs boast one of the most impressive minor league systems in baseball, and Baez, Bryant and Almora are considered the headliners. Baez spent the 2013 season between High-A and Double-A and ripped an incredible 71 extra-base hits. Bryant, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft, rocketed through three levels in his pro debut, posting an aggregate OPS of 1078 and leaving a number of embarrassed and spiritually broken young pitchers in his wake. Almora was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 draft and hit .329 at Class-A Kane County. All are expected to be ranked among the top-50 overall prospects in the game heading into the 2014 season.

Profar impresses in Dominican Winter League

The Tigres del Licey are headed to the Dominican Series against Escogito and the Rangers' middle infielder Jurickson Profar is a big reason why. Profar has gotten on base at nearly a .400 clip for Licey this winter, prompting general manager Manny Acta to call him, "The most impressive player down here alongside [Pirates' prospect] Gregory Polanco."

Profar will get a chance to play everyday for the Rangers in 2014 after they shipped out All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler in exchange for Prince Fielder in the biggest blockbuster deal of the winter so far. The move was made in part to make room for Profar, whose natural position is shortstop. The Rangers have All-Star shortstop Elvis Andrus signed long-term though, so Kinsler was the odd man out.

The Dominican Series begins Monday night.

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