The first baseman has a history of injuries
The Rockies have signed Greg Bird to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Thomas Harding first tweeted the news on Thursday:
#Rockies have reached a Minor League contract with a Major League Spring invitation with former #Yankees 1B Greg Bird, who didn’t appear in the Majors with the #Rangers last year. Bird is a grad of Grandview (Colo.) HS — was catcher for #SFGiants P Kevin Gausman back then.
— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) February 11, 2021
The Rockies later made the signing official:
The Rockies announced today that they have signed 1B Greg Bird to a Minor League contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training.
— Rockies Club Information (@RockiesClubInfo) February 11, 2021
A fifth-round draft choice by the Yankees in 2011, Bird, now 28, debuted with the Yankees in 2015. Although drafted as a catcher, he was moved to first base and slashed .261/.343/.529 in 178 plate appearances. This included 11 homers and 31 RBI.
Since then, he has been sidelined with injuries. Bird missed the entire 2016 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum. In 2017-2019, he struggled with foot injuries. Those injuries have affected his performance, and he’s slashed only .194/.287/.388 in 522 plate appearances since that time.
In 2020, Bird signed with the Rangers but did not play in an MLB game. He was DFA’d by the Rangers on August 11, and on September 15, he signed a contract with the Phillies.
Bird falls into that “veteran” category the Rockies like so much. He also bats left and throws right, creating a potential first-base platoon with Josh Fuentes.
A graduate of Grandview High School in Aurora, Bird was a high school star. Cespedes Family BBQ tweeted this video:
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) February 10, 2021
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Bird as a “utility veteran.” Bird has only been a DH and played first base at the Major League level.