The Phillies said Bird, who signed a minor-league contract, tested positive during his entry physical. He did not have exposure to any players at the alternate training site in Allentown, the team said.
The 27-year-old could have provided insurance at first base while Rhys Hoskins continues to work his way back from a strained elbow. Bird played with the Yankees under Joe Girardi, but injuries have derailed the career of the former top prospect. As a rookie in 2015, Bird homered 11 times in 46 games while posting an .871 OPS.
Jonathan Lucroy, who signed a minor-league deal with the Phillies on the same day as Bird, is on the team’s postseason roster.
Bird missed 2016 after undergoing shoulder surgery and was sidelined for parts of 2017 and 2018 by ankle injuries. He tore the plantar fascia in his left foot last year and was released by the Yankees in November. He signed with the Texas Rangers, who designated him for assignment in August.
“When he first came up, he was a really big part of our lineup,” Girardi said last week. “He had a huge hit for us in the playoffs in 2017, and I always felt that this young man had a lot of talent and was going to hit at the big-league level. But he’s had a lot of ankle and feet problems, which is where your base starts, and that’s really difficult.”