While a bevy of free agents remain unsigned, teams must take a moment to address their arbitration eligible players. The deadline to exchange figures is set for tomorrow at 1 PM ET. The Yankees, however, are beginning to make some progress on that front. According to Bob Nightengale, the Bombers agreed to a one-year deal with Greg Bird worth $1.2 dollars.
Bird, 26, had a nightmare 2018. The first baseman started the season on the disabled list while he recovered from ankle surgery. He rejoined the club on May 15th, but never got it going with the bat. He hit just .199/.286/.386 with 11 home runs across 311 plate appearances. His 81 wRC+ resulted in Bird losing the starting first job to Luke Voit.
During a recent interview, Brian Cashman explained that Voit remains the favorite to start in 2019. He added that the 26-year-old has a chance to win back his job, “...if Bird can resuscitate.” Injuries and setbacks have knocked the luster off him, but his true talent level is undeniable. Not many people can do this:
In addition to Bird, the Yankees have to exchange figures with Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Sonny Gray, Luis Severino, Aaron Hicks, Austin Romine, and Tommy Kahnle. If the two sides don’t reach a deal, they will head to arbitration. This doesn’t prevent them from agreeing to a contract before a hearing, but the wheels will be in motion.