Yankees: Luke Voit’s monster HR just after Greg Bird DFA tells whole story


The Yankees first base cycle hit another milestone on Tuesday, with Luke Voit’s tattoo job and Greg Bird’s DFA.

The Yankees needed to make a definitive decision at first base at the end of the 2018 season, though Luke Voit’s sterling second half swayed the court of public opinion.

By the ’18 postseason, Voit had wrestled the starting job away from Greg Bird, the team’s First Baseman of the Future since the summer of 2013, when he broke out at Single-A Charleston with the perfect blueprint of a minor league season. Oozing poise, power, and patience, Bird smashed 20 homers and got on base at a .428 clip that year, and smashed 11 home runs in an extended cameo down the stretch in 2015.

But then, shoulder surgery derailed him prior to the 2016 season, and myriad other issues followed, leaving his swing hollow and his promise empty. A home run off Andrew Miller in the ’17 postseason, as well as a few other blasts that October, seemed like a mirage after a .190 mark during that full season. That postseason run led to a … very similar and seemingly impossible .199 mark the next season.

The next spring, it was official: Voit was the starter, and Bird barely remained in the corner of the organization’s eye. He was officially removed from the roster after 2019.

And, on Tuesday, Voit began his day at Yankee Stadium by whistling a three-run home run to the furthest depths of the bleachers.

Bird? He was DFA’d by the Texas Rangers at just about the exact same time, his latest last-ditch effort felled just days after he was promoted to the big league roster.

Instead, Texas will go with Derek Dietrich, the Yankees will go with their resident masher Voit, and Bird will likely go home, unable to do better than a Player Pool for the remainder of this bizarre pandemic campaign.

If you had told us after 2015 that Bird would be languishing in the depths, usurped by a man from the Cardinals organization who hits ’em to Beloit/Detroit, we never would’ve believed you.

But welcome to 2020. Voit took the job, ran with it, and sent it to the cheap seats. Bird’s been caught looking.