The Toronto Blue Jays continue to do all they can to be an eternal thorn in the New York Yankees‘ side. They’ve gotten the best of the Bombers each of the last two seasons and have battled them down to the wire despite being in “rebuild mode” (one that’s been expedited faster than we could’ve imagined).
And they still won’t go away this offseason. Toronto is looking to spend, already having added Kevin Gausman. Not to mention, they disrupted last year’s free agency when they signed George Springer and the 2021 trade deadline when they added Jose Berrios.
This time around, the Jays are rumored to be jockeying with the Yankees for star first baseman Freddie Freeman. But before that’s even allowed (the MLB lockout has to end in order for a signing like that to happen), the Jays decided to partake in some mental warfare on Thursday morning.
According to the latest news, Toronto has signed former Yankees top prospect and major league bust Greg Bird to a minor-league contract.
Bird hasn’t logged an MLB rep since 2019 but has been on the mend from multiple injuries. A foot issue officially ended his time in the Bronx and then he failed to latch on with the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies.
His next stop was the Colorado Rockies … and we’re not sure why they didn’t keep him around after the work he did at Triple-A.
Former New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird is now a Blue Jay
Those numbers came in just 112 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. Pretty damn good! Then again, the clock is ticking because Bird is entering his age-29 season.
Even so, having Bird back in the division is a clear mental warfare tactic by the Blue Jays, who continue to circle the Yankees in the water every opportunity they get. If there’s one thing we think New York’s front office hates, it’s the possibility of one of their former players coming back to haunt them in some capacity. It’s likely why every Brian Cashman trade package is designed to minimize as much risk as possible.
It’s obvious the Blue Jays know what they’re doing. They are looking to upgrade/add insurance at first base, so they’re in on a top Yankees target and have now signed a former Yankee who might be able to help out in a lesser role amid his rebound.
You mean to tell us there’s a guy out there with a signature Yankee moment who could potentially face New York 19 times per year if he makes the MLB roster? Nope, don’t want it. Bird was supposed to be the Yankees’ first baseman of the future, but instead logged just 186 career games after debuting in 2015 and hit .211 with a .725 OPS, with that home run off Andrew Miller being his crowning achievement.
Since low-key signings and trades (Corey Dickerson, Teoscar Hernandez, Adam Cimber and more) typically work out for the Blue Jays, don’t be surprised if Bird, who just so happens to be trending as upward as he’s ever been, gets a couple of high-leverage at-bats to potentially make the Yankees pay in 2022.