Could the Red Sox Target Greg Bird?
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Bird recently cleared waivers and elected to enter free agency instead of a demotion to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. When he arrived at the big leagues as Mark Tiexiera’s replacement, Bird had Yankee fans salivating at his thunderous left-handed swing. The power he possesses had them dreaming of World Series titles … but then came the injuries.
He has had a torn labrum and a countless number of lower body ailments that have kept him not only out of the lineup, but kept his numbers from progressing to the power hitting threat he once showed. He reemerged as a threat against the Houston Astros in the 2017 playoffs that now include an asterisk due to the cheating scandal. He never produced the numbers for the Yankees to keep him on the 40-man roster and the team made the decision to part ways with him ahead of the Rule 5 draft.
With Mitch Moreland likely gone in free agency, and rumors of Steve Pearce retiring, that leaves Michael Chavis and the lackluster Sam Travis as the only options currently on the roster. With Pedroia’s availability still up in the air, he could be the primary second baseman until that situation becomes more evident. Chavis is a great defender, but will most likely be needed elsewhere, and Travis hasn’t shown enough competence on either side of the game to own a spot let alone a starting job.
The 27-year-old free agent has played in 186 career games since 2015, hitting .211 with 32 homers and 98 RBI. With injuries plaguing most of those four seasons, those numbers alone don’t stand out, either. It definitely wouldn’t hurt to have a huge left-handed guy at first base. His presence in the lineup could make the lineup more balanced, as well.
His mere $1.3 million salary could entice the Red Sox as a great one-year option for the club. Maybe even a non-guaranteed contract could get the two sides to agree. For now, we will wait and see if this rumor will lead to anything more serious.