Pitchers and catchers will be reporting to camp on February 14th, and exhibition games will begin on the 24th. Spring training is just around the corner!
With that in mind, the Yankees have joined many other teams around the league in revealing which non-roster invitees will be attending camp. As implied, these are all players who are not currently on the 40-man roster, so it’s a mix of notable prospects, depth minor leaguers, and veterans trying to prove they can still hang — even if it might only be to get the attention of another team who needs to make a late-spring addition.
Here are the 26 NRIs, grouped by position and with a small note next to each player.
Josh Breaux — Former second-round pick in 2018, bounced between three levels of the Yankees’ system in 2023.
J.C. Escarra — A 28-year-old veteran of Indy ball in both the United States and Mexico.
Ben Rice — Ivy League draft pick from 2021, worked his way up to Double-A Somerset at the end of 2023 with a 1.049 OPS in 48 games.
Luis Torrens — A top IFA signing by New York back in 2012, he left the organization via the 2016-17 Rule 5 Draft and is now back. He spent last year with four different organizations and saw brief MLB time with the Cubs and Mariners.
Jeter Downs — Yes, yes, get your Jeter jokes in. He survived DFA limbo to clear waivers and will be in camp as a depth infielder.
Caleb Durbin — A speedy, contact-oriented breakout player in the Arizona Fall League, the 23-year-old Durbin finished 2023 at Double-A Somerset.
Jose Rojas — Back stateside after an .819 OPS sojourn to the KBO in 2023, Rojas played with the Angels from 2021-22 and is more of a utilityman than a pure infielder.
T.J. Rumfield — A first baseman picked out of Virginia Tech in 2021, Rumfield belted 17 homers in 82 games for Somerset last year.
Kevin Smith — He’s not even supposed to be here today! (We kid, he’s a shortstop/third baseman who had to play 96 games for the A’s from 2022-23, have some mercy.)
Josh VanMeter — Another former major leaguer, VanMeter appeared in 300 games for the Reds, Diamondbacks, and Pirates from 2019-22, mostly as a second baseman. He was on Milwaukee’s Triple-A team last year, though injuries limited him to 49 games.
Greg Allen — Back for his third separate stint in the Yankees’ organization, Allen stole 31 bases in 34 chances last year between the minors and majors.
Luis González — Be nice to him, he’s not the one that broke hearts around the tri-state area in 2001. Luis the Younger had a 97 OPS+ in 107 games for the White Sox and Giants between 2020-22 (mostly in ‘22). A herniated disc sent his ‘23 into shambles.
Oscar González — A surprising 125 OPS+ rookie for the AL Central-winning 2022 Guardians, González fell off a cliff in ‘23 and got claimed off waivers in December by New York. Like Downs, he was not taken by anyone after being DFA’d, so he’ll be in Yankees camp.
Spencer Jones — If you know a little about the Yankees, you’ve probably heard of the 6-foot-6 masher out of Vanderbilt, who was New York’s top pick in 2022 and is considered a Top-100 prospect in MLB by multiple sources. Depending on who you ask, it’s a toss-up between Jones and Jasson Domínguez for the title of Best Baby Bomber.
Brandon Lockridge — A .905 OPS in 33 games prompted the Yankees to bump the 2018 fifth-rounder up to Triple-A in June 2023. He slowed down with a .734 OPS there the rest of the way, but he’s a nice enough guy to have around.
Nick Burdi (RHP) — It’s been an injury-filled road for a guy who was once a second-round pick by the Twins. He’s had two Tommy John surgeries and a thoracic outlet syndrome procedure as well. Now 31, he’ll try to get something going in the Scranton bullpen (though he did appear for three games with the Cubs in 2023).
Yerry De Los Santos (RHP) — The Pirates righty pulled off the amusing trick of pitching better in the majors (3.33 ERA, 1.233 WHIP) than in Triple-A (6.12 ERA, 2.240 WHIP) last year before his season ended in mid-August with a lat strain. He has a nice sinker that likely caught the Yankees’ eyes.
Joey Gerber (RHP) — At 26, he’s not exactly old, but he’s no baby. (Sorry.) Gerber’s only MLB experience consists of 17 games with the 2020 Mariners. Like Burdi, he’s had a rough go of late with back surgery forcing him to miss ‘21 and then Tommy John surgery taking him out in June of ‘22.
Chase Hampton (RHP) — With Drew Thorpe now in San Diego following the Juan Soto trade, the 2022 sixth-rounder out of Texas Tech is the best pitching prospect in the Yankees’ system and a Top-100 guy by some outlets. He ended last year with 11 starts in Double-A, and he has a good fastball/slider/curve trio in his arsenal. With a productive 2024, he could potentially be a big-league rotation option down the stretch.
Anthony Misiewicz (LHP) — He actually appeared in the majors for the Yankees late in 2023, though a line drive in Pittsburgh that struck him is likely your lasting memory of him (if any).
Oddanier Mosqueda (LHP) — I’ll be honest: this is a brand-new name for me. Mosqueda is a former Red Sox farmhand and after signing as a teenager out of Venezuela in July 2015, he worked his way up to Triple-A Worcester last year. It did not go well; perhaps the southpaw has something up his sleeve.
Dennis Santana (RHP) — A six-year MLB veteran, Santana’s career-highs in appearances came in 2022 with Texas, with 63 games and 58.2 innings, though his 5.22 ERA meant that it was a far cry from what he showed in the Rangers’ 2021 second half. Santana was on the Mets for eight mostly shaky games last year, and his Triple-A numbers weren’t much better.
Tanner Tully (LHP) — No word yet on if Tully ascribes by “Family, duty, honor” or if he can properly handle their funeral proceedings, but the lefty made three appearances with Cleveland in 2022 before joining the Yankees’ Triple-A team in 2023. He departed in Julyfor an opportunity in the KBO, and he had a 2.92 ERA for the NC Dinos.
Duane Underwood Jr. (RHP) — Underwood played from 2018-23 with the Cubs and Pirates, so now he’ll give a non-NL Central team a try. The results weren’t great in ‘23, though he does have a four-pitch mix as a reliever, which isn’t terribly common.
Art Warren (RHP) — Warren had Tommy John surgery and missed all of 2023 following 65 appearances with the Reds from 2021-22. It’s not a complicated approach here: slider/four-seam and nothing else. Relievers can make that work with the right fine-tuning, though.
Will Warren (RHP) — Hampton is the Yankees’ consensus top pitching prospect, but Warren is the closest to the majors and a pretty good young arm in his own right. The 24-year-old out of Southeastern Louisiana University was bumped to Triple-A in May 2023 and after some scuffles early on, he began to find his footing. He might be a dark-horse candidate for the Yankees’ Opening Day rotation, especially if a not-at-all shocking injury pops up.