The Yankees announced have invited 21 non-roster players to 2019 Major League Spring Training, which starts in just about a week.
The biggest name that stands out is Danny Farquhar, who is attempting a comeback after he suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm in the bullpen in the sixth inning of a game between his Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros April 20, 2018 vs. Houston. The following day, he underwent successful surgery to address the aneurysm, but was not medically released to pitch again in a competitive game during the 2018 season.
Of the group, 13 were signed (or re-signed) to minor league contracts for the 2019 season: Farquhar, LHP Rex Brothers, OF Billy Burns, LHP Danny Coulombe, C Kellin Deglan, C Francisco Diaz, RHP David Hale, RHP Drew Hutchison, RHP Brady Lail, C Ryan Lavarnway, OF Matt Lipka, C Jorge Saez and INF Giovanny Urshela. Deglan, Diaz, Hale, Lail, Saez and Urshela spent time in the Yankees organization last year and return in 2019 after signing new minor league deals, while Farquhar returns to the Yankees after a brief minor league stint with the organization in 2012. The number of players scheduled to report is 61.
Eight other Yankees farmhands were also extended invitations to big league camp, bringing the total to 21 additional players: OF Trey Amburgey, LHP Nestor Cortes Jr., RHP Cale Coshow, RHP Raynel Espinal, OF Estevan Florial, INF Mike Ford, INF Kyle Holder and RHP Michael King. Of this group, Coshow, Espinal, Florial and Holder were in Yankees camp in 2018. Amburgey and King will attend their first Major League Spring Training. As Rule 5 draftees a year ago, Cortes (Baltimore) and Ford (Seattle) both spent the spring in big league camp with their respective clubs before being returned to the Yankees later in 2018.
The 21 non-roster invitees consist of 10 pitchers (three left-handers, seven right-handers), four catchers, three infielders and four outfielders. Nine have accrued Major League service time: Farquhar (4 years, 135 days), Brothers (4 years, 91 days), Hutchison (4 years, 91 days), Lavarnway (3 years, 1 day), Coulombe (2 years, 54 days), Hale (2 years, 31 days), Burns (2 years, 30 days), Urshela (1 year, 127 days) and Cortes (16 days).
Farquhar, 31, was limited to eight appearances with the Chicago White Sox in 2018 due to the brain hemorrhage, and he went 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA (8.0IP, 6H, 5ER, 0BB, 9K, 3HR). In 253 Major League appearances over parts of seven seasons with Toronto (2011), Seattle (2013-15), Tampa Bay (2016-17) and Chicago (2017-18), Farquhar is 10-15 with a 3.93 ERA (272.1IP, 119ER) and owns a 10.21 K/9.0IP ratio (309K/272.1IP). A native of Pembroke Pines, Fla., he was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
Hale, 31, made three appearances with the Yankees and one with Minnesota in 2018, combining for a 4.61 ERA (13.2IP, 16H, 7ER, 5BB, 8K, 3HR) in four games. He was released by the Yankees on July 9, 2018, and signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization, where he went 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA (66.1IP, 32ER) in 12 starts. In parts of five Major League seasons with Atlanta (2013-14), Colorado (2015-16), the Yankees (2018) and Minnesota (2018), is 10-10 with a 4.49 ERA (192.1IP, 96ER) over 70 games (20 starts). The Atlanta native was originally selected by the Braves in the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Lavarnway, 31, went 4-for-6 with 1R, 1 double and 1RBI in six games with Pittsburgh in 2018, but spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, hitting .288 (76-for-264) with 29R, 23 doubles, 1 triple, 9HR and 33RBI in 78 games. In 146 games over parts of seven seasons in the Majors with Boston (2011-14), Baltimore (2015), Atlanta (2015), Oakland (2017) and Pittsburgh (2018), the catcher has hit .208 (81-for-390) with 31R, 25 doubles, 7HR and 43RBI. The Burbank, Calif., native was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
The Yankees previously announced the signings of Brothers, Burns, Coulombe and Hutchison.
Of the Yankees’ 21 non-roster invitees, eight are homegrown players. Five were originally drafted by the club: Amburgey (2015, 13th round), Cortes (2013, 36th round), Coshow (2013, 13th round), Holder (2015, compensation round) and Lail (2012, 18th round). Two were signed by the Yankees as non-drafted international free agents: Espinal (Sept. 27, 2012, out of Villa Gonzalez, D.R.) and Florial (on March 19, 2015, out of Barahona, D.R.). The Yankees signed Ford on July 17, 2013, after the left-handed hitter went unselected in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft following a standout career at Princeton University. In 2018, Amburgey’s 74RBI at Double-A Trenton tied for the lead among Yankees minor leaguers.
Two of the Yankees’ non-roster invitees have been tabbed among the organization’s top-10 prospects by Baseball America entering the 2019 season, with the top-ranked Florial joined by King at No. 5. Two additional top-10 prospects in the Yankees organization will be in camp as members of the 40-man roster: RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (No. 2) and RHP Albert Abreu (No. 9). Acquired in a trade with the Marlins on November 20, 2017, King led all Yankees farmhands with a 1.79 ERA and 152K while finishing second with 11 wins in his first year with the organization.
For the second consecutive spring, Florial (born 11/25/97) is expected to be the youngest player in camp.