Heading into 2016, the Yankees weren't expected to need Greg Bird on an everyday basis. Mark Teixeira is set as the first baseman, and Alex Rodriguez can't play third anymore, which has him set for full-time duties at DH. Because of Bird's lack of positional versatility, he was likely going to spend most of his time in AAA, unless Texeira or Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list.
Unfortunately for New York, they no longer have that option, as Bird is set for shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.
I have learned Greg Bird is going to miss all of the 2016 season. Going for shoulder surgery tomorrow #Yankees— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 1, 2016
Bird out the shoulder last year while in the minors. Felt it again this offseason. Was diagnosed with torn labrum— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 1, 2016
Bird made his major league debut last season, and was incredibly impressive. In 157 at-bats, he hit 11 home runs, (which translates to a homer every 14.27 AB's) posted a slash line of .261/.343/.529, along with a wOBA of .372, and a wRC+ of 137.
While this doesn't drastically change the Yankees' plans heading in 2016, it undoubtedly hurts their depth. Without Bird waiting in AAA as backup for Texeira and Rodriguez, they no longer have a clear solution in case of an injury.
Yankees view Dustin Ackley as one of their safety-net options at first base, a position he has played extensively in the past.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 1, 2016
Ackely is no where near the offensive threat that Bird is, but he does have some experience at first base (106.1 innings from 2011-2015), and can serve as a stop-gap in the event that Brian Cashman needs to find long-term replacement for either Texeira or Rodriguez.