What Should the Yankees Do with Greg Bird?
Looking at the first base position, the Yankees have several options heading into the 2020 season. DJ LeMahieu found himself as the everyday first baseman during the playoffs and seemed to have some rough patches at first base. Luke Voit will be coming back after battling a sports hernia and looks to take back his spot at first. Mike Ford is also an intriguing option, as he showed discipline at the plate.
But many fans forget about the other first baseman by the name of Greg Bird. After long spells of injuries to the Yankee first baseman, he is looking to resume baseball activities by participating in the Dominican League playing for Gigantes del Cibao.
Bird is in a very interesting situation with the Yanks. Given that one of the Yankees biggest weaknesses is first base, Bird will more than likely find himself to have another shot at the job. His offensive and injury struggles continue to keep him from being the everyday first baseman for the Yankees. His is by far the best natural first baseman the Yankees have.
A big question is what do the Yankees do with him this season. Is he worthy of holding the backup spot to Voit at first at the major league level? Or is he going to find himself in another situation?
Bird is a player that the Yanks have had high hopes for ever since he came up during the 2015 season. He is a left-handed at-bat whose power is tailor made for Yankee Stadium. They will not just give up on him easily. He had two years of arbitration remaining and will be a free agent following the 2021 season. Bird also has several options to Triple-A.
The Yanks could possibly option him to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to help him offensively. Doing this will allow him to become an everyday player, which will allow him to get more at-bats. If Bird can produce well for a few weeks to start the 2020 season for the Rail Riders, then it is very possible that he could get called up if any first baseman is struggling or if there are any injuries.
Many fans might be wondering why doesn’t Brian Cashman just trade Bird and get something for him. For starters, what would teams offer for an injury-prone player who struggles offensively? This is a new game that involves many analytics, but analytics do not take into account injuries. Bird is more than likely better than any prospect that would be offered for him.
I believe that a stint in Triple-A might do Bird some good. He has the potential to be an everyday player, especially if he can get that offensive going. The Yankees do not need for him to hit .320 in a season but will probably be satisfied with a .250 average if he can play solid defensively.
The soon-to-be 27-year old is still a very valuable piece for the Yankees and is not one that the Yanks should just give up on so easily. It is frustrating to see a player that took the team by storm when he first came up in 2015, only to see him never duplicate those stats again. Hopefully the future is bright for Bird, and he turns himself around.