Friday, February 1, 2013
NEW YORK—The Yankees announced on Thursday that they have invited 44 players to Major League Spring Training, with 84 total players scheduled to report in February.
Five players have been signed to Minor League contracts with spring invitations to big league camp: infielder Dan Johnson, outfielders Matt Diaz, Thomas Neal and Juan Rivera and catcher Bobby Wilson.
The Yankees had previously acknowledged some of the signings during the winter. Diaz and Rivera—a former Yankee who started his career with New York from 2001-03—will have strong chances to make the team as a right-handed outfield bat, while Wilson is pegged to serve as Triple-A insurance behind the plate.
New York’s list of spring invitees also includes two of the club’s first-round Draft picks: outfielder Slade Heathcott (2009) and shortstop Cito Culver (2010).
Additionally, two players named on MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects list have also been invited to camp: catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Tyler Austin.
The Yankees will also give a close look to right-hander Mark Montgomery, who could help in the big league bullpen at some point this season. Mason Williams, the club’s top outfield prospect, did not receive an invitation to big league camp.
The only guys I see with a realistic chance at making the team to start the year are Matt Diaz or Juan Rivera, and it’s possible neither one will make the team if Russ Canzler shows enough to be the primary RH OF. But hopefully we’ll get a glimpse at a couple of the prospects in some of the early spring training games. I think Tyler Austin and Slade Heathcott are two guys who could force themselves onto the MLB roster by some point in 2014 and hopefully we get to see them in a few games.
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