The New York Yankees have suffered the first major injury of the 2016 MLB season. After remaining relatively quiet in terms of high-profiled moves this offseason, the Yankees were focused on retaining their youth for the future. However, that plan took a major hit as Greg Bird has been ruled out for the entire season following a torn labrum in his shoulder. How will the Yankees move forward as Mark Teixeira is all they have at first base?
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, Bird sustained the right shoulder injury and will miss all of the 2016 season. Bird has undergone surgery to repair the issue and he is not expected to return this year. The first baseman was a breakout star last year filling in for the injured Teixeira. He batted .261 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 157 at-bats. He was expected to begin the season in the minors with the chance of getting called up quickly and now that will not be an option.
The injury to Bird leaves the Yankees hurting at first base. The team is expecting to have a healthy Teixeira back at the position, but can they count on the veteran who is entering the final year of his contract? Yes, Teixeira was having a near MVP season before getting hurt with 31 home runs and a .907 OPS. The question is can he maintain that in 2016 after another injury? As a result the Yankees could be looking for help at the position.
According to John Harper of the New York Daily News, the emergency plan could be Dustin Ackley at first base. Brian Cashman supports the idea of putting the infield in the spot even though that experiment failed for Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees believe Ackley is a jack of all trades and with the arrival of Starlin Castro, they can move the utility man around if need be. Cashman also told the media that the team will look around for an outside to bring in. Pedro Alvarez is the best option available after hitting 27 home runs in Pittsburgh. However, will he be ok with splitting time with Teixeira who is the established starter?
"I would expect that we'll look at anybody interested in coming in on a minor league contract and interested in being an insurance policy," Cashman said, via the New York Post.
Cashman made it clear he did not believe the injury to Bird would hurt his development. However, if Teixeira is capable of repeating his 2015 success, handing the veteran a qualifying offer for 2017 is the best move to make. According to the Daily News, the offer would likely be in the $17 million category. Teixeira is established in New York. He has proven success. He could be the favorable option for another year should Bird not be ready to start after the injury.