Bird out to revive career with hometown Rox

Signing a Minors deal, 1B demonstrated power, potential before injury issues

February 11th, 2021

DENVER -- Left-handed-hitting first baseman , who showed power and promise with the Yankees before injuries derailed him, is looking to rekindle his career with the Rockies -- his hometown club.

Bird, 28, has joined the Rockies on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Bird attended Grandview (Colo.) High School, and during that time was the catcher for current Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman.

Bird began last season with the Rangers, but he didn’t appear in the Majors because of a calf injury. He signed with the Phillies in September, but he could not play because of a positive COVID-19 intake test.

Debuting with the Yankees in 2015, Bird took the starting job at first base after Mark Teixeira sustained a fractured right shin, and he finished with a .261 average, a .343 on-base percentage, 11 home runs and nine doubles in 46 games.

A right shoulder injury that required surgery cost Bird the 2016 season. A right foot injury in '17, a right ankle bone spur in '18 and a left plantar fascia tear in '19 limited him to 140 games over the three seasons (.194, 21 HR, 61 RBIs).

Bird appeared in a combined 14 postseason games with the Yankees in 2015 and '17 (.250, 3 HR, 6 RBIs).

First base offers opportunity. Right-handed-hitting Josh Fuentes supplanted the now-retired Daniel Murphy late last season. While Ryan McMahon has history at the position, he will likely move to third to replace Nolan Arenado (Cardinals). Non-roster invitee Connor Joe and Ian Desmond (primarily an outfielder) also could be part of the picture.