As some of you have probably read in the papers the last couple days, we have signed Rudy Seanez to a minor league contract with an invite to Major League camp. Also today, we signed third baseman Fernando Tatis to a similar contract and you’ll get to watch both guys during Spring Training.
Many of you remember Rudy Seanez from his days with the Dodgers when he was a hard-throwing young reliever. He still throws pretty hard and could be a nice addition if he’s healthy and still effective.
If any of you don’t remember Fernando Tatis, you will remember him this way – he’s the guy that hit two grand slams off Chan Ho Park in the same inning. I vividly remember that day, actually, because I was still working in the marketing department here. Most of the time, I’d be in the offices during the games but on this particular night, I had to meet a client who was at the game on the Loge Level behind home plate. I didn’t want to interrupt the crowd during the inning, so I just took an open seat a few rows behind him and waited for three quick outs. Two grand slams later, I had witnessed history from some amazing seats. Do any of you guys remember this game or did you attend it, by any chance?
And to answer the question about the cost of these non-roster spots, it really depends on the caliber of the player. They’ll all have split contracts where they get a certain salary if they make the big league club and a much lower one if they don’t. In relative terms, it doesn’t cost much to invite them to camp. Plus, almost every year it seems that one of these "longshots" makes it on the big league club, if not more. Among the NRIs last year were Joe Beimel, Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp, Ramon Martinez, Takashi Saito, Aaron Sele and Eric Stults. Others in the past have included Jose Lima, Kelly Wunsch and Scott Erickson, among others.
I can’t imagine there are a ton more that you’ll be hearing about, but usually a good group of 15 or so gives you a chance to see what some veterans still have left or how some prospects fare against big leaguers.