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Yankees activate Greg Bird, option Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A

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Bird is back, but at a price.

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MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Yankees activated Greg Bird from the disabled list this afternoon. In a surprising turn of events. the corresponding move turned out to be Ronald Torreyes. The team announced that they optioned the utility infielder to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

For Bird, this marks his season debut. Caitlin provided the background information on this yesterday. It’s worthy repeating, though, that the Yankees are set to infuse a left-handed power bat into the lineup. He’s a career 112 wRC+ hitter, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. When healthy, Bird is a force at the plate. We’ve seen that in glimpses over the last few seasons, and hopefully now he’s ready for an extended run.

Torreyes, 25, has been the team’s utility infielder since arriving in 2016. He hit .339/.349/.435 with a 114 wRC+ across 22 games this season. He offers virtually no power and doesn’t draw any walks, but he has a reputation as a strong clubhouse presence. Sending him down comes as a major surprise, especially considering how Tyler Austin fits on the roster. He’s a redundancy now, but the Yankees must like what they see. By default now, Gleyber Torres becomes the backup shortstop. That shouldn’t be a problem considering it’s his natural position.

Bird is back, and that’s great news! Losing Torreyes, however, feels somewhat unnecessary. He may be incredibly lucky, but it seems he fits the roster better than Austin does at this point. This is a strange one, that’s for sure.

If you’re interested in seeing Bird return to action in person, let StubHub get you in the door by clicking here.