The Yankees have signed first baseman Greg Bird to a minor league contract, reports Sweeny Murti of WFAN (Twitter link). Bird, who was just released by the Blue Jays after failing to crack the Opening Day roster, will report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. If he cracks the big league roster, he’d earn a $1MM base salary, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).
Bird returns to the only organization with which he’s suited up at the major league level. One of the better prospects in the New York system during his days in the minors, the lefty-hitting Bird debuted in the majors with a .261/.343/.529 showing in 178 plate appearances in 2015. That set him up as a possible first baseman of the future in the Bronx. Unfortunately, he missed the entirety of the 2016 season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery, and he’s yet to rediscover his debut-season form.
Over parts of three seasons between 2017-19, Bird hit just .194/.287/.388 in 522 plate appearances. New York designated him for assignment after the 2019 campaign, and he hasn’t played in the majors since then. Over the past two seasons, the former 5th-round pick has joined the Rangers, Phillies, Rockies and Blue Jays organizations on minor league pacts, but he hasn’t gotten another big league call. Reports this spring suggested he was seriously in the running for an Opening Day spot in Toronto, but the Jays opted for more defensive flexibility in promoting utility infielder Gosuke Katoh instead.
While Bird hasn’t had much big league success of late, he’s coming off a solid season with the Rockies top affiliate in Albuquerque. He hit .267/.362/.532 with 27 homers for the Isotopes — albeit in one of the most hitter-friendly environments in affiliated ball. The Yankees have fellow left-handed hitter Anthony Rizzo at first base, but Bird can step into the high minors as a depth option.