Yankees News: Team Invites 26-Non Roster Hopefuls to Spring Training


In an early afternoon press conference, the New York Yankees announced that they’ve signed six ball players to minor league contracts with an invitation to Spring Training, including: veteran RHP Scott Baker, INF Cole Figueroa, INF Jonathan Galvez, C Juan Graterol, INF Nick Noonan, and C Eddy Rodriguez. In addition, they also invited 20 players to Spring Training, bringing their grand total number of invitees to 26 (11 pitchers, five catchers, seven infielders and three outfielders). The number of players now scheduled to report to George M. Steinbrenner field in Tampa, Florida is 66.

The most notable invite thus far is Scott Baker, who will be 33 this year and two seasons removed from Tommy John surgery. According to baseballreference.com, Baker owns a 66-52 record with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.253 WHIP over 1053.2 innings pitched through the first nine seasons of his major league career. He spent most of his career with the Minnesota Twins (2005-11) and pitched for the Texas Rangers last season, going 3-4 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP in 25 games, eight of which were starts. 

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The other notable invitee is New Jersey native Andrew Bailey. Similar to Baker, I believe Bailey could also be a pitcher that can contribute to the Yankees at some point in the 2015 season. The right-hander was signed by the Yankees to a minor league contract last March, but spent the entire season recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder. Through 206 career relief appearances with Oakland (2009-11) and Boston (2012-13), he went 11-12 with 89 saves, while posting an impressive 2.64 ERA and 1.005 WHIP.

Out of the 26 non-roster invitees, 14 players were originally drafted by the Yankees, including left-handed pitching prospect Jacob Lindgren, a second round pick in last years draft. Lindgren made his professional debut after being drafted, pitching to a 2-1 record with one save, a 2.16 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 19 relief appearances with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, Single-A Charleston, Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

The Yankees also invited four players who they drafted in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft: OF Aaron Judge (first round, 32nd overall), RHP Nick Rumbelow (seventh round), LHP Tyler Webb (10th round) and C Trent Garrison (28th round).

The most anticipated prospect from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft is of course Aaron Judge, who made his pro debut in 2014, hitting .308 at both Single-A Charleston and Single-A Tampa. Judge belted 24 doubles, 17 home runs and drove in 78 runs in 2014 and is ranked as the second-best prospect in the Yankees organization.

The remaining Yankees draft picks attending Spring Training as non-roster invitees are 2012 selections: INF Rob Refsnyder (fifth round), who figures to have a shot at making the big league roster this season, RHP Nick Goody (sixth round), LHP James Pazos (13th round); 2011 selections: INF Gregory Bird (fifth round), who’s the only Yankees prospect along with Aaron Judge to crack Keith Law’s top 100 prospects list, OF Jake Cave (sixth round); 2010 draft selections: INF Cito Culver (first round, 32nd overall) and INF Kyle Roller (eighth round); 2009 draft selection OF Slade Heathcott (first round, 29th overall) and 2008 draft selection C Kyle Higashioka (seventh round).

Rounding out the Yankees’ invitees are C Francisco Arcia, RHP Vicente Campos, RHP Diego Moreno and RHP Wilking Rodriguez.

Who’s excited for Spring Training?

Next: Why Scott Baker Is A Great Signing For The Yankees

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