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Friday, March 29, 2013
Overbay makes team, Aardsma let go

By Andrew Marchand

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lyle Overbay looked more relieved than anything. His three-day tryout ended with him being called into the manager's office in the road clubhouse at Nationals Park by Brian Cashman. The GM simply told Overbay it looks good and the Yankees will make a 40-man move on Saturday to put him on the roster.

Overbay is now the only full-time first baseman on the team. On Opening Day, against the lefty Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis will probably play first with Jayson Nix at third. But in the second game, the left-handed Overbay figures to start against righty Clay Buchholz.

After the brief conversation with Cashman, Overbay, 36, quickly texted his wife to share the good news before reporters had a chance to tweet it.

"I couldn't expect anything more," Overbay said. "This probably tops it all."

Two lockers over, David Aardsma had emerged from the same manager's office and entered baseball purgatory. Aardsma was told he did not make the team. The Yankees complimented Aardsma, but they felt his one-inning stuff did not fit in their bullpen puzzle with righty one-handed specialists Mariano Rivera, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain.

Aardsma, 31, will either be traded in the next week or released. Cashman said there was interest, so the Yankees could be off the hook for the $500,000 plus bonuses that Aardsma will make in 2013.

"There just wasn't space," Aardsma said. "Joe [Girardi] said they needed some versatility, guys who can throw multiple innings."

Aardsma, the Seattle Mariners' former closer, spent 2012 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Instead of Aardsma, the Yankees have taken Shawn Kelley. The Yankees traded for the hard-throwing Kelley right before spring training opened. They view him as a guy who can throw multiple innings. Kelley, 28, had been in the Mariners' bullpen since 2009. In his career, he is 10-9 with a 3.52 ERA. He average 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Girardi also said Ben Francisco and Nix officially made the team.