The Greg Bird Era appears to be over in the Bronx, as the 27-year-old elected to become a free agent after clearing waivers. The Yankees had attempted to send the first baseman outright to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he had sufficient MLB service time (more than three years) to decline the assignment.
Bird’s time with the Yankees started with significant promise, as he slashed .261/.343/.529 (137 wRC+) with 11 homers in 46 games towards the end of the 2015 season. But, he played in just 140 games from that point on – to the tune of an ugly .194/.287/.388 (82 wRC+) line with a 26.1% strikeout rate.
The emergence of Mike Ford and Luke Voit as possible platoon partners at first base led the Yankees to cut Bird loose. Bird and Ford are both 27, but Bird has amassed over four years of MLB service while Ford has less than one season (amazingly, Bird has played just 182 games in his career).
Bird is now free to sign with any of the 30 MLB teams. He likely will sign for below his $1.2 million projected in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors.
We’ll always have Bird’s home run off Andrew Miller in the 2017 ALCS: