Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have brought back first baseman and former top prospect Greg Bird on a minor league deal.

Bird’s last tour in the majors was actually with the Yankees in 2019. He appeared in ten games and hit .171 with a home run and just one RBI before chronic foot injuries kept him out of action once again.

Such has been the story for Greg Bird, who debuted in 2015 to replace an injured Mark Teixeira. He hit .261 with 11 homers and 31 RBI in just 46 games before missing all of 2016 with shoulder surgery.

Foot and ankle injuries then limited Bird over the next two seasons, though he performed well when healthy. In Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS, his solo home run was enough for the Yankees to beat the Cleveland Indians. New York ultimately came back to win the series and advance to the ALCS.


Since the Yankees let him go after the 2019 season, Bird has bounced around the minors for various teams, including his hometown Colorado Rockies. Now, at age 29, he’s back where it all began, trying to find his way back to a major league dugout.

The Yankees are pretty set at first base with Anthony Rizzo, and also have DJ LeMahieu and Joey Gallo available to play first in an emergency. Bird is a solid depth option, so getting him reps and at-bats at Triple-A Scranton is the best route now.

Even more interesting is how full circle Bird’s path has come. The Yankees acquired Luke Voit for added first base depth due to all of Bird’s injuries. Voit was a reliable power bat and led the majors in home runs in 2020, but proved a bit injury prone himself. He was traded to the San Diego Padres last month after the Yankees re-signed Rizzo.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.