The New York Yankees today announced that they have signed seven players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: C Francisco Diaz, INF Danny Espinosa, RHP David Hale, C Erik Kratz, LHP Wade LeBlanc, C Chace Numata and INF/OF Jace Peterson. Diaz and Kratz were in
The New York Yankees today announced that they have signed seven players to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training: C Francisco Diaz, INF Danny Espinosa, RHP David Hale, C Erik Kratz, LHP Wade LeBlanc, C Chace Numata and INF/OF Jace Peterson. Diaz and Kratz were in the Yankees organization last year and return in 2018 after signing new minor league deals, while LeBlanc is back with the Yankees after a brief stint with the club in 2014. The Yankees have also invited 13 additional players to 2018 spring training, bringing the total number of invitees to 20 (11 pitchers, four catchers, four infielders and one outfielder). Of the Yankees' 20 non-roster invitees, only five have accrued Major League service time: Espinosa (6 years, 106 days), Hale (1 year, 168 days), Kratz (4 years, 26 days), LeBlanc (4 years, 131 days) and Peterson (3 years, 3 days). The number of players now scheduled to report is 60.
Espinosa, 30, has hit .221 (644-for-2,910) with 367R, 139 doubles, 98HR and 316RBI in 872 games over parts of eight Major League seasons with Washington (2010-16), Los Angeles-AL (2017), Seattle (2017) and Tampa Bay (2017). At the Major League level, he has appeared at every infield position, as well as in left field. He split the 2017 season between the Angels, Mariners and Rays, batting .173 (46-for-266) with 30R, 10 doubles, 6HR and 31RBI in 93 games. The Santa Ana, Calif., native was originally selected by Washington in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Hale, 30, has gone 10-10 with a 4.48 ERA (178.2IP, 89ER) with 120K in 66 games (20 starts) over parts of four Major League seasons with Atlanta (2013-14) and Colorado (2015-16). In 2017, he combined with Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City to go 5-4 with a 4.08 ERA (81.2IP, 37ER) in 15 games (14 starts). Born in Marietta, Ga., Hale attended Princeton University and was originally selected by Atlanta in the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Kratz, 37, has appeared in 229 games over parts of eight Major League seasons with the Pirates (2010, '16), Phillies (2011-13, '15), Blue Jays (2014), Royals (2014-15), Astros (2016) and Yankees (2017). He spent the majority of the 2017 season with Triple-A Columbus, batting .270 (76-for-282) with 38R, 16 doubles, 13HR and 37RBI in 86 games. On August 31, 2017, he was acquired by the Yankees from Cleveland in exchange for cash considerations. He appeared in four games with the club, going 2-for-2 with 1 double and 2RBI. Born in Telford, Pa., Kratz was originally selected by Toronto in the 29th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.
LeBlanc, 33, has gone 30-35 with three saves and a 4.40 ERA (576.2IP, 282ER) in 176 games (79 starts) over parts of nine Major League seasons with the Padres (2008-11), Marlins (2012-13), Astros (2013), Angels (2014), Yankees (2014), Mariners (2016) and Pirates (2016-17). He spent the entire 2017 season with Pittsburgh-his first full season at the Major League level-and went 5-2 with a 4.50 ERA (68.0IP, 34ER) in 50 relief appearances. The Lake Charles, La., native was originally selected by San Diego in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Peterson, 27, has played in 383 Major League games over parts of four seasons with San Diego (2014) and Atlanta (2015-17). In 2017, he appeared in 89 games over four stints with the Braves, batting .215 (40-for-186) with 15R, 9 doubles, 2HR and 17RBI. He made starts at six different positions (18 in left field, 10 at second base, six at third base, five at first base, four at shortstop and two in right field), tied for third-most in the Majors behind Los Angeles-NL's Kiké Hernandez and Detroit's Andrew Romine (seven each). The native of Lake Charles, La., also spent time with Triple-A Gwinnett last season, appearing in 34 games. Peterson was originally selected by San Diego in the supplemental round (58th overall) of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Three of the Yankees' spring training attendees have been tabbed among the organization's Top 10 prospects by Baseball America entering the 2018 season, including OF Estevan Florial (No. 2), LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 3) and RHP Chance Adams (No. 4). Five additional Top 10 prospects in the Yankees organization will be in camp as members of the 40-man roster: INF Gleyber Torres (No. 1), INF Miguel Andújar (No. 5), RHP Albert Abreu (No. 6), INF Thairo Estrada (No. 9) and RHP Domingo Acevedo (No. 10) will also be in camp as members of the 40-man roster.
Florial, signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on March 19, 2015, was named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star in 2017, and was one of two Yankees farmhands to be selected to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami (also Acevedo). Following the season, he appeared in 19 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League, where he was named to the AFL Top Prospects Team. He was also named the No. 38 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America. Sheffield and fellow non-roster invitee RHP J.P. Feyereisen joined the Yankees organization with OF Clint Frazier and RHP Ben Heller in the trade that sent Andrew Miller to the Indians at the 2016 trade deadline.
Of the Yankees' 20 non-roster invitees, seven were originally drafted by the club: Adams (2015, fifth round), RHP Cody Carroll (2015, 22nd round), RHP Cale Coshow (2013, 13th round), INF Kyle Holder (2015, compensation round), RHP Brady Lail (2012, 18th round), INF Nick Solak (2016, second round) and RHP Taylor Widener (2016, 12th round). In 2017, Adams led all Yankees minor leaguers with 15 wins and ranked third with a 2.45 ERA and 135K en route to being tabbed by Baseball America as the No. 81 prospect in baseball. Coshow led Yankees farmhands with 15 saves, while Widener ranked fourth with 129K.
Rounding out the Yankees' invitees are RHP Raynel Espinal (signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on September 27, 2012), CJorge Saez (selected by the Yankees from Toronto in the first round of the Triple-A phase of the 2016 Rule 5 draft) and RHP Dillon Tate (acquired by the Yankees from Texas along with RHP Nick Green and RHP Erik Swanson in exchange for OF Carlos Beltrán on August 1, 2016).
Kratz (D.O.B. 6/15/80) is expected to be the oldest player in camp, while Florial (D.O.B. 11/25/97) will be the youngest.