Muscle Sport Magazine


The New York Yankees announced today that they have invited 19 non-roster players to 2020 Major League Spring Training.


Of the group, 14 were signed (or re-signed) to minor league contracts for the 2020 season: RHP Domingo Acevedo, LHP Luis Avilán, C Kellin Deglan, OF Zack Granite, RHP David Hale, INF/OF Rosell Herrera, C Chris Iannetta, C Erik Kratz, LHP Tyler Lyons, OF Thomas Milone, RHP Dan Otero, C Wynston Sawyer, C Josh Thole and RHP Nick Tropeano. Acevedo, Deglan, Hale, Kratz and Lyons spent time in the Yankees organization last year and return in 2020 after signing new minor league deals. The number of players scheduled to report to Major League Spring Training is 59.


Five other players in the Yankees organization were also extended invitations to big league camp: OF Trey Amburgey, INF Chris Gittens, INF Kyle Holder, RHP Clarke Schmidt and RHP Alexander Vizcaíno. Of this group, Amburgey and Holder were in Yankees camp in 2019, while Gittens, Schmidt and Vizcaíno will attend their first Major League Spring Training.


The 19 non-roster invitees consist of eight pitchers (two left-handers, six right-handers), five catchers, two infielders and four outfielders. Eleven of these players have accrued Major League service time: Iannetta (12 years, 154 days), Avilán (6 years, 146 days), Otero (6 years, 124 days), Thole (5 years, 165 days), Kratz (5 years, 54 days), Lyons (4 years, 64 days), Tropeano (3 years, 105 days), Hale (2 years, 163 days), Herrera (1 year, 46 days), Granite (70 days) and Acevedo (1 day).


Iannetta, 36, has made a total of 1,032 starts behind the plate during his 14-year Major League career. With a total of 1,197 games with Colorado (2006-11, ’18-19), Los Angeles-AL (2012-15), Seattle (2016) and Arizona (2017), the Providence, R.I., native is one of seven active catchers with at least 1,000 games played. He hit .222 (32-for-144) over 52 games with the Rockies in 2019.


Avilán, 30, has held left-handed batters to a .203 batting average (120-for-590) over his eight-year career with the Braves (2012-15), Dodgers (2015-17), White Sox (2018), Phillies (2018) and Mets (2019). A native of Caracas, Venezuela, he limited lefties to a .102 mark (5-for-49) while posting a 4-0 record and 5.06 ERA (32.0IP, 18ER) in 45 appearances with the Mets last season.


Otero, 34, is a veteran of eight Major League seasons with the Giants (2012), Athletics (2013-15) and Indians (2016-19), going 22-8 with a 3.39 ERA (403.2IP, 152ER) and three saves over 358 relief appearances. The Miami native’s 4.68 career strikeouts-to-walks ratio (262K, 56BB) ranks eighth among active pitchers with at least 400.0 innings pitched. In 25 appearances with Cleveland in 2019, he posted a 4.85 ERA (29.2IP, 16ER).


Thole, 33, has played in parts of eight Major League campaigns with New York-NL (2009-12) and Toronto (2013-16). On June 1, 2012, he caught Johan Santana’s no-hitter vs. St. Louis. The Breese, Ill., native played in 72 minor league games in 2019, batting a combined .243 (55-for-226) at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Dodgers system and Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels system.


Kratz, 39, returns to the Yankees after a 2019 season that saw him play for his eighth and ninth Major League clubs (San Francisco, Tampa Bay) before joining the Yankees’ Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate at midseason. The 10-year Major League veteran is one of six active players (and the only position player) to have played for at least nine franchises (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Toronto, Kansas City, Houston, Yankees, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Tampa Bay). Following the season, he played for the USA Professional National Team in the 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament in México and Japan.


Lyons, 31, joined the Yankees late in the 2019 campaign, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA (8.2IP, 4ER) in 11 regular season relief appearances. A member of both the ALDS and ALCS rosters in 2019, the Lubbock, Texas, native made his postseason debut and struck out four of his five batters across two appearances (ALDS Game 2 vs. Minnesota, ALCS Game 4 vs. Houston). He owns a 13-12 record with three saves and a 4.20 ERA (281.0IP, 131ER) in 161 games (20 starts) over seven Major League seasons with the Cardinals (2013-18), Pirates (2019) and Yankees (2019).


Tropeano, 29, has made 42 Major League appearances (39 starts) with the Astros (2014) and Angels (2015-16, ’18-19), going 12-14 with a 4.51 ERA (217.1IP, 109ER). A graduate of West Islip (N.Y.) High School, Tropeano was originally selected by Houston in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Stony Brook (N.Y.) University.


Hale, 32, was re-signed by the Yankees after he went 3-0 record with two saves and a 3.11 ERA (37.2IP, 13ER) in 20 relief appearances for the club in 2019. Despite missing most of the second half with a lumbar spine strain, he still completed 2.0 innings pitched in 13 of his 20 outings. In parts of six Major League seasons with Atlanta (2013-14), Colorado (2015-16), the Yankees (2018-19) and Minnesota (2018), the Atlanta native is 13-10 with a 4.27 ERA (230.0IP, 109ER) over 90 games (20 starts).


Of the Yankees’ 19 non-roster invitees, six are homegrown players. Four were originally drafted by the club: Amburgey (2015, 13th round), Gittens (2014, 12th round), Holder(2015, compensation round) and Schmidt (2017, first round). Two were signed by the Yankees as non-drafted international free agents: Acevedo (Oct. 17, 2012, out of Villa los Almácigos, D.R.) and Vizcaíno (on May 18, 2016, out of San Cristobal, D.R.).


Gittens, who turns 26 on Tuesday, won the 2019 Eastern League MVP award with Double-A Trenton, hitting .281/.393/.500 (112-for-398) with 58R, 16 doubles, 23HR, 77RBI and 71BB. He led both the Eastern League and all Yankees minor leaguers in RBI.


Two of the Yankees’ non-roster invitees have been tabbed among the organization’s top-10 prospects by Baseball America entering the 2020 season, with Schmidt (No. 2) and Vizcaíno (No. 9) joining four other top-10 prospects who will be in camp as members of the Yankees’ 40-man roster: RHP Deivi García (No. 3), RHP Luis Gil (No. 4), RHP Luis Medina (No. 7) and RHP Albert Abreu (No. 10).


Kratz (born 6/15/80) is expected to be the oldest player in camp, with RHP Deivi García (born 5/19/99) the youngest.


In addition, the Yankees signed RHP Adam Warren on December 18, 2019, to a two-year minor league contract for 2020-21. Warren underwent “Tommy John” surgery on his right elbow on September 4, 2019.



Rob Morse

Senior Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations

New York Yankees

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