As the calendar inches closer to February 13, the date Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to spring training camp at Camelback Ranch, now is as good a time as any to examine some potential Non-Roster Invitees the team could invite to camp.
First, I’ll look at MLB free agents who will likely only receive a minor league contract/spring training invite, and then I’ll examine some players on the minor league free agent market, which surprisingly features some familiar former MLBers. Maybe there is a solid bullpen arm or bench piece to be found amongst this group?
To date, the Dodgers have signed a handful of minor league free agents with major league experience that will likely be brought to big league camp. Utility player Max Muncy, ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte, former Met outfielder Travis Taijeron, and recently, former A’s reliever Zach Neal. To add to the intrigue, we can also expect some current Dodger prospects who are not already on the 40 man roster receive an invite to camp, much like Cody Bellinger last year. Yusniel Diaz and Kiebert Ruiz anyone?
However, unlike years past, this slow-moving free-agent market will undoubtedly see some surprise major league players not receive guaranteed contracts and 40 man roster spots, and instead have to settle for a camp invite on a minor league contract. We don’t necessarily expect to find an impact player in this group, but more so a complementary bench piece, solid situational reliever, or bullpen arm. Likewise, amongst the second group we will examine, the minor league free agents, we hope to find a seasoned player that can eat some innings when called up from Oklahoma City, or serve as a short-term injury replacement, in lieu of rushing a top prospect to the majors. Let’s take a look at the first group