New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird, who was a starter on Opening Day last season, has opted for free agency over a Triple-A assignment, according to multiple media reports.

Bird, 27, was designated for assignment on Nov. 20, when outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was released by the Yankees. Though he was their Opening Day starter, Bird played in only 10 regular-season games last season after sustaining a plantar fascia tear. He finished with one home run and one RBI while batting .171.

He started his major league career impressively in 2015, hitting 11 home runs with 31 RBIs in 157 at-bats while taking over for injured veteran Mark Teixeira, then missed 2016 with a shoulder injury and played just 140 games in the next three seasons.

Batting .211 in 186 career games, Bird has 32 home runs with 98 RBIs.

Mike Ford, who hit 12 homers and batted .259 in 50 games last season, is a candidate to start at first base for the Yankees, who also have Luke Voit and All-Star versatile infielder DJ LeMahieu as other options.

--Field Level Media

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