The New York Yankees are looking to get younger as they prepare for the departure of several aging veterans in a year. The Yankees have avoided high-priced contracts for players over 30 this year as they look for younger players to make their mark on the team. Greg Bird is one of those players as he pushes a position battle heading into the 2016 season.
Mark Teixeira is the Yankees' starting first baseman, but his numerous injuries have led to the breakout from Bird at the position. Teixeira ended last season early which gave Bird a chance to take over the starting spot and he shined at points last year. Now the young first baseman is hoping he has a chance to retain the spot in 2016.
"I don't like to look into the crystal ball too much," Bird said, via NJ.com. "I'm just going to work hard this offseason...however I can [help the team] is fine by me. I obviously would like to start the season with the team. That's what everyone works towards. And yeah once I guess you have a taste of that, that's where you want to be. But I understand there's another side to it."
According to NJ.com, general manager Brian Cashman predicts Bird will likely start the year in Triple-A barring any setbacks from Teixeira. The veteran is supposed to return healthy at the start of next season and will take back over his position. Another player set to begin the season in Triple-A is Rob Refsynder who at one point was a starting infielder until the Yankees traded for Starlin Castro. He will now take over the spot leaving Refsnyder to go back down to the minors. Refsnyder tried to down play the arrival of Castro to the New York Post.
"I didn't have much of a reaction,'' Refsnyder said, via the Post. "It didn't change much about how I go about my business. I was raised to work hard and make the most of the situation.''
According to Cashman via the Post, Refsnyder is not at risk of getting traded, but he is also not in contention to be a starter. Right now, the Yankees are shopping players like Ivan Nova, Andrew Miller and Michael Pineda in hopes of getting better pitching help. According to MLB.com, Miller is gaining interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Nova and Pineda have not turned a single head. Right now, it does not appear the Yankees will get any deals done unless they opt to include Refsnyder in a package.