The Mariners just announced their list of 18 non-roster invitees to spring training, which begins with pitchers and catchers reporting to Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 12.
The group includes many of their top prospects, including catcher Mike Zunino, last year’s top draft pick, who soared through the minors last year with a .360 average in 45 games. That included 15 at Class AA. He’s a longshot to make the club out of spring training but will no doubt be hoping to open some eyes.
Also invited were two players who would have been traded to Arizona had Justin Upton accepted the deal agreed upon by the Mariners and Diamondbacks: Pitcher Taijuan Walker and infielder Nick Franklin, both of whom were also in camp last year. Another returning invitee is left-handed pitcher James Paxton.
The other member of the so-called “Big Three,” Danny Hultzen, is on the 40-man roster and doesn’t require an invitation to spring training.
Other invitees include infielder Stefen Romero, who was the Mariners’ minor league player of the year last season, as well as infielder Brad Miller, their “Heart and Soul” winner, and Arizona Fall League participants Carson Smith and Logan Bawcom, both right-handed pitchers.
Jeremy Bonderman, the former Tigers pitcher attempting a comeback from elbow surgery, is also invited to camp, as is first baseman Mike Jacobs, who hit 32 homers for the Marlins in 2008.
Other invitees are right-handed pitchers Jonathan Arias, Andrew Carraway, Danny Farquhar, D.J. Mitchell and Jhonny Nunez; left-handed pitcher Brian Moran; and catchers John Hicks and Jesus Sucre.