The Yankees offseason has hit a bit of a lull after locking up Zach Britton. While the anticipation begins to boil over waiting for Manny Machado’s destination to come to light, the Yankees continue to plug away negotiating with returning pieces.
Per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, the Yankees have avoided arbitration with two key depth pieces for the 2019 season. Backup catcher Austin Romine has agreed to settle at $1.8 million for 2019, and one time blue-chip prospect Greg Bird settled at $1.2 million.
Austin Romine and #Yankees settle on $1.8 million contract
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 11, 2019
Greg Bird gets $1.2 million deal with #Yankees, avoiding arbitration
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 10, 2019
While these seem like minute deals, any time arbitration can be avoided it qualifies as a win for both sides. Yankee fans surely remember the nightmare that was Dellin Betances’ arbitration case.
Both Bird and Romine appear to be heading into spring training as the backups in their positions with Gary Sanchez obviously slotted as the team’s starting catcher, and surprising 2018 up-start sensation Luke Voit tabbed as the current leader in the clubhouse at first base.
In 2018, Austin Romine backed up a lost season of Gary Sanchez by hitting .244 with 10 home runs, 42 RBI, and amassing a 1.4 WAR.
Greg Bird, on the flip side, turned in another incredibly disappointing season playing in only 82 games, hitting below the Mendoza Line at .199, with 11 home runs, 38 RBI and a staggering -0.6 WAR.
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