The Yankees have announced their list of non-roster invitees, the players who will be in big league spring training who are not already on the 40-man roster. For the first time in awhile, the team signed only a minimal amount of free agents and will instead mostly rely on internal minor league prospects this year for a total of 26 additional players.
The players signed to minor league deals include RHP Scott Baker, INF Cole Figueroa, INF Jonathan Galvez, C Juan Graterol, INF Nick Noonan, C Eddy Rodriguez, as well as reliever Andrew Bailey. The internal invitees include starting pitchers Luis Severino and "Vicente" (Jose) Campos, and when you include Baker and Bryan Mitchell, they will have very little in the way of rotation depth. Relievers Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow, Tyler Webb, Nick Goody, and James Pazos all have a shot at making the major league roster, while Diego Moreno and Wilking Rodriguez likely don't. The position players include top prospects Aaron Judge, Rob Refsnyder, Greg Bird, and Jake Cave, but also intriguing power bat Kyle Roller. They have also invited Cito Culver (lulz), Slade Heathcott, and catchers Trent Garrison, Kyle Higashioka, and Francisco Arcia.
As always, we will be keeping track of which players have the best shot at making the major league roster as we go through spring training. Right now I am identifying four 40-man roster spots that can be cleared if they designate any of Jose De Paula, Chris Martin, or Brendan Ryan for assignment, as well if they trade Austin Romine, since he will be out of options this season. Refsnyder might have an outside shot at making the team, since Stephen Drew allows the Yankees to take their time with him, but any spots that open up will be going to relievers like Lindgren, Rumbelow, and Webb. Leaving off Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin is not a huge deal, since they still have plenty of time in the minors ahead of them. At the moment, the only noticeable absence I see is the lack of Mark Montgomery, which essentially confirms just how far he has fallen in the eyes of the Yankees.