Non roster invites can be thought of us as the supplemental list of players you'll see in Spring Training. The guys on the 40 man roster (which you can find here on SBNation or here on Padres.com) are the guys that don't need a special invite. They have to show up. They are the country club members. These other guys are kind of like the official list of guests.
Some of these "guests" used to be in other people's clubs. They were recently signed as minor league free agents. They know they aren't guaranteed a big league job, but will fight it out for one and probably settling for a starting spot in AAA Tucson. And the others are the hot the prospects. The guys the team wants an extended look at and perhaps sees cracking the roster at some point this year, but probably not at the start of the season. Some of them are just about ready for prime time and will be in AAA with those minor league veterans and others will start a little lower, but show lots of potential.
The Padres announced the full list of non roster invites yesterday.
Here's the list of invitees that were signed as minor league free agents:
Pitchers Sean O'Sullivan, Daniel Stange and Thad Weber. Catchers Rene Rivera and Eddy Rodriguez. Infielders Gregorio Petit and Cody Ransom. Outfielder Travis Buck.
And here's the list of prospects also getting invites:
Pitchers Johnny Barbato, Wilfredo Boscan, Robbie Erlin, Brandon Kloess, Kevin Quackenbush, Jason Ray, Donn Roach, Matt Stites and Jerry Sullivan. Catchers Jason Hagerty and Austin Hedges. Infielders Jonathan Galvez and Jedd Gyorko.
Of this list, the one player that may actually beat someone out for a 40 man and 25 man roster spot and maybe even get an opening day start is Jedd Gyorko. There is some thought that he could be the opening day second baseman. A couple others may have a shot if there's an injury. The team is thin at catcher, so Rivera or Rodriguez could make the team if John Baker or Nick Hundley got hurt and couldn't make opening day. Currently the 5th starter spot is expected to be a competition between Casey Kelly and Anthony Bass, but a couple injuries and Erlin could be in the mix. And if we're talking about multiple injuries at a position, then I suppose it would only take a couple to get Petit and Ransom in the mix at SS. Other than that, most injuries could be covered by call ups from the 40 man roster.