Dodgers announce list of non-roster invitees to spring training
LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers announced a list of 27 players given non-roster invitations to spring training – a list that includes a former All-Star, one of the prospects sent to Baltimore in the 2018 trade for Manny Machado and a former major league outfielder trying to make it back now as a pitcher.
Jason Heyward is the former All-Star as well as a five-time Gold Glove winner and runner-up for the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year award. The 33-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers in December after being released by the Chicago Cubs last season. The Cubs will pay nearly all of Heyward’s $22 million salary in 2023, the final year of an eight-year, $184 million contract he signed in 2015.
Heyward will compete for a spot in the Dodgers’ outfield plans along with two other experienced big-leaguers signed to minor league contracts – former San Francisco Giant Steven Duggar and former first-round pick Bradley Zimmer.
Another outfielder on the NRI list is Yusniel Diaz. The 26-year-old Diaz was signed to a $15.5 million bonus by the Dodgers in 2015, part of a splurge of Cuban signings by the Dodgers during that international signing period that has produced two big-league stars – neither of whom is playing in Los Angeles.
Along with Diaz, the Dodgers also signed Yordan Alvarez (now with the Houston Astros), Oneil Cruz (now with the Pittsburgh Pirates) and highly-touted pitcher Yadier Alvarez who has had a star-crossed stay in the Dodgers’ minor league system.
Diaz was one of five players traded by the Dodgers to the Baltimore Orioles for Manny Machado in July 2018. He made it to the majors last year, long enough only to strike out in one at-bat against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 2 and became a free agent this past winter.
The 16 pitchers given non-roster invitations include top prospects Bobby Miller, Landon Knack, Gavin Stone and Nick Nastrini. It also includes 10 pitchers with major-league experience topped by veteran reliever Matt Andriese who pitched in Japan last year.
Also on the list is James Jones whose big-league experience came as an outfielder with the Seattle Mariners in 2014 and 2015. Now 34, Jones is trying to make it back as a pitcher. He has spent the past six seasons pitching in the minors for the Rangers.
Here is the full list of NRIs. Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to spring training on Feb. 15:
PITCHERS (16) – RHPs Matt Andriese, Dylan Covey, Tyler Cyr, Landon Knack, Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Nick Nastrini, Jake Reed, Nick Robertson, Tayler Scott, Wander Suero, Jordan Yamamoto, LHPs Adam Kolarek, Robbie Erlin, Bryan Hudson, James Jones
CATCHERS (3) – Hunter Feduccia, David Freitas, Patrick Mazeika
INFIELDERS (2) – Luke Williams, Devin Mann
OUTFIELDERS (6) – Drew Avans, Yusniel Diaz, Jason Heyward, Steven Duggar, Bradley Zimmer, Ryan Ward