Red Sox release Overbay

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Boston Red Sox on Tuesday released first baseman Lyle Overbay, adding further clarity to the final bench spots on the Opening Day roster.

The Red Sox had a deadline of noon Tuesday under the collective bargaining agreement to tell Overbay whether he would make the 25-man roster. He is now a free agent.

The release of Overbay, who hit .220 with a double, two triples and seven RBIs in 19 spring training games with the Sox, gives first baseman/outfielder Mike Carp a better chance to make the team. Either Carp, who is on the roster, or outfielder Ryan Sweeney, who is not, will fill that final spot on the bench. Sweeney has an opt-out option Thursday if he is not added to the big league roster.

Assuming the Red Sox add Jackie Bradley Jr. to the roster and start him in left field, it looks like the bench will consist of catcher David Ross, utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco, outfielder/first baseman Daniel Nava and either Carp or Sweeney. Jonny Gomes projects as the team’s designated hitter with David Ortiz starting the season on the disabled list.