ARLINGTON, Texas | Free agent first baseman Greg Bird has agreed on a minor league contract with the Rangers that includes an invitation to spring training and the chance to earn a roster spot at a position where Texas is unsettled.
Bird — a former star at Aurora’s Grandview High School — was limited to 10 games in the first two weeks last season with the New York Yankees before being sidelined by a plantar fascia tear in his left foot. He became a free agent in November when he refused an outright assignment to Triple-A.
If added to the 40-man roster, the 27-year-old first baseman would get a one-year contract with a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues. He could earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.
Ronald Guzman, a left-hander who is a strong defender, hit only .134 against lefties and started only 72 games at first base last season. Four other players started games at first base, which again could be a platoon position for Texas.
Bird made his big league debut with the Yankees in 2015, then missed all of 2016 following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, He was limited to a .190 average in 48 games in 2017 after fouling a ball off his right ankle and a .199 average in 82 games the following year following ankle surgery.