Should the Brewers sign first baseman Greg Bird?
By John Schnabl
Greg Bird was a once highly touted first base prospect in the New York Yankees system but injuries and below average production in the majors recently got him designated for assignment. Should the Brewers consider signing him?
Minor League stats and awards
Greg Bird has played 380 minor league games over seven seasons with a stat line of .281/.396/.485 including 54 HR’s and 210 RBI’s. In 2014 in the Arizona Fall League he was the named the MVP and was named to the All Prospect team. Bird was also an MiLB Organization All-Star in 2013 and 2015.
Bird’s time in the majors
Bird got his chance with the New York Yankees in 2015 and in 46 games, he hit .261 with 11 home runs. The Yankees viewed Bird as the heir apparent to Mark Teixeira. Unfortunately, that success was short lived because injuries started to mount for Bird. After the 2015 season he had shoulder surgery and then a litany of ankle and foot issues that have affected him every season since then.
Since that 2015 season he has had only 522 plate appearances for the Yankees. Because of injuries and sporadic playing time he has a less than impressive major league stat line of .211/.301/.424. Another thing you notice when looking at Bird’s stats is that he has some pop in his bat. In his 611 at bats with the Yankees he has 32 home runs and 98 RBIs.
There is no question the pedigree is there and that he has shown power at all levels. He is also a left handed bat and left-handed hitters with power generally do well at Miller Park. In addition to his power, he plays a position where the Brewers have a need.
Signing Bird will probably cost very little, so there isn’t a huge financial loss if his signing doesn’t work out because of continued injuries and/or lack of production. Bird could be a great buy-low candidate and end up as another David Stearns reclamation project. If the price is right, he seems like the type of player the Brewers should take a chance on.