1:07pm: The Yankees announced that Bird has indeed rejected an outright assignment in favor of free agency.
This isn’t how the Yanks expected things to end. The now-27-year-old had a big 2015 debut, hitting .261/.343/.529 with 11 homers in 178 plate appearances, creating some optimism that he could settle in as a long-term option at first base. As one would expect given that rookie output, Bird was afforded quite a few opportunities over the years, but on-field struggles and injury issues sapped him of staying power.
In the past four seasons, Bird has only managed to stay on the field for 140 games and 522 plate appearances, recording a woeful .194/.287/.388 batting line in that time. Ultimately, Bird took seven hundred plate appearances for the Yankees. He hit 32 home runs and carried a .211/.301/.424 slash line. He has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining and should latch on with another club in need of first base/DH depth.