If the Brewers set up a cute little street corner stand, and start trying to give Lyle Overbay away, the Giants would do well to take a chance on him. He doesn't have the power the Giants are looking for, but like Brad Wilkerson has the on-base skills to make even a down year tolerable. He is a modest upgrade on what the Giants can expect from J.T. Snow in 2006.
The Brewers aren't necessarily itching to get rid of him, and can stand to be a little coy. "Oh, golly, what if Prince Fielder isn't ready? I'm not sure if we can afford to trade the fella." They can sit back and hope two teams start to panic, both throwing prospects at the Brewers like underwear at a Tom Jones show. It just isn't going to be worth it. When the critical eye is trained on Overbay, there's a lot to find fault with. He had some pretty extreme home/away splits, and featured a complete lack of power away from Miller Park. Add in some future arbitration winnings, and it would almost make more sense to bring in a guy like Damon Minor to play with Lance Niekro. Almost.
The only reason to pine for Overbay is if the sentiment is backed by a belief he's going to peak at age 29, and that we haven't seen his best work. While that's not a wild and crazy thing to believe, it isn't really based in much more than blind faith. I think a lot of people, myself included, hear Overbay's name and recall vague positive associations. He's on the young side. He had some ridiculous minor league numbers. He adjusted to the majors pretty well. But Overbay's minor league numbers were superficially impressive, with his gaudy numbers coming in the Texas League's version of Coors Field, El Paso. Every time he topped a .500 slugging percentage, it was accompanied by an unusually high batting average.
Perhaps one of these years, Overbay is going to enjoy a wacky Darin Erstad season, racking up doubles to go along with a .340 average. If the trade front is quiet for the Brewers, and they just want to dump Overbay for some second tier prospects, he's more than welcome aboard. It'd be fun to do that silly "Ooooooohhhhh" thing that the Brewer faithful do when he comes to bat, and he is a nice player to have batting 6th or 7th. Realistically, though, the Giants should give up little more than the 2005 equivalent of Allen Watson and Fausto Macey. Expecting Overbay to be much more than J.T. without the Gold Gloves would be expecting too much.