Yanks extend Spring Training invites
Berroa headlines list of 20 non-roster players for Spring Training
NEW YORK -- With four weeks remaining before the official report date for Spring Training, the Yankees announced 20 non-roster invitations on Wednesday for Major League camp.
On New York's list are four pitchers, five catchers, seven infielders and four outfielders, increasing the total number of players scheduled to report to 60.
Of the invitations announced on Wednesday, 10 have previous big league experience -- perhaps the most prominent of them being infielder Angel Berroa, who beat out Hideki Matsui for the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year Award.
Now 31, Berroa will compete for a reserve role on the Yankees' roster after splitting his 2008 season between the Royals and Dodgers organizations.
Berroa started at shortstop in 64 of the Dodgers' final 101 games, batting .230 with one home run and 16 RBIs in 84 overall games with Los Angeles until Rafael Furcal returned from injury for the postseason.
Former Red Sox catcher Kevin Cash will switch American League East clubs to vie for a role backing up Jorge Posada and/or Jose Molina, while providing Triple-A insurance. Also on the list is right-hander Jason Johnson, mentioned as a candidate to round out the rotation by manager Joe Girardi last week.
New York native John Rodriguez, who saw his most extensive Major League action in 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals, will be provided an opportunity to compete in helping to open the new Yankee Stadium in April.
Also new to the Yankees organization on Minor League contracts are infielders Doug Bernier and Justin Leone and outfielder Todd Linden.
Sergio Mitre, a right-handed starter and reliever who was hit with a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance, has also been invited. A member of Girardi's 2006 Marlins club, Mitre signed with the Yankees in November and is recovering from Tommy John ligament replacement elbow surgery, slated for a possible midseason activation.
Eleven of those invited had previously played in the Yankees' organization. On that list are catcher Kyle Anson, outfielder Colin Curtis, left-hander Kei Igawa, outfielder Austin Jackson, right-hander Mark Melancon, catcher Jesus Montero, infielder Eduardo Nunez, infielder Ramiro Pena, catcher P.J. Pilittere, catcher Austin Romine and infielder Kevin Russo.
The Yankees announced that first baseman Shelley Duncan, who made the Yankees' 25-man roster out of Spring Training last season, will attend this year as a non-roster player. He cleared waivers Wednesday and was outrighted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
New York also announced five additions to their professional scouting staff for the 2009 season. New full-time members include Dan Freed, Bill Livesey, Kevin Reese and Tom Wilson, with Bob Miske joining the staff as a part-time pro scout.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.