What does it mean to be a non-roster invitee to Spring Training?

With Spring Training right around the corner, you may look at your team and wonder who or what is a non-roster invitee.

San Diego Padres v Texas Rangers
San Diego Padres v Texas Rangers / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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With Spring Training right around the corner, you may look at your team and wonder who or what is a non-roster invitee.

A non-roster invitee is a player not on their team's 40-man roster who's invited to attend Major League Spring Training camp. The most important thing for the player receiving this invitation is they can compete for a roster spot. Clubs can extend NRIs to their upper-level minor leaguers and may include invites to minor league contracts given to free agents over the offseason.

An intriguing non-roster invitee for the Cleveland Guardians this season is Carlos Carrasco. He'll return to the Guardians, where he was a fan favorite. The club needs a veteran presence, and they could be added to the rotation or become an option out of the bullpen. If he doesn't crack the Major League roster, the Guardians will likely need him for depth on their AAA affiliate.

What is a non-roster invitee in MLB spring training?

The St. Louis Cardinals typically use non-roster invites to showcase their top prospects. The team has 13 non-roster pitcher invites, including several of the organization's top prospects, such as Gordon Graceffo and Tekoah Roby, whom the Cardinals acquired last summer from the Texas Rangers for Jordan Montgomery. Middle infielder Thomas Saggese was also a part of this deal and is another non-roster invite for the Cardinals.

Jake Lamb was once a top player in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. He's struggled, and the team has hopped a lot since 2020. Lamb received a non-roster invite from the Pittsburgh Pirates. It would be interesting to see if he can break out and earn a spot on their 40-man roster this spring.

After ten seasons with the Kansas City Royals Danny Duffy signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers last season. Duffy re-signed with the Rangers and was given a non-roster invite to Spring Training camp this week. Duffy could make the Major League roster and provide a veteran presence from the bullpen.