One of the most enjoyable aspects of spring training during the month of March is getting to see players you wouldn't ordinarily see get playing time and try to earn a roster spot. Every year, each team goes into spring training with a few spots on the roster open to competition and it's always fun to see who emerges as contenders.
Spring is always thought to symbolize the season of re-birth, so it is only fitting that a number of former major leaguers and once-highly-touted prospects attempt to reinvigorate their baseball careers in spring training. Most of these players appear in exhibition games as non-roster invitees.
For anyone unfamiliar with the term, a "non-roster invitee" is simply a player who breaks into camp with the franchise but does not appear on the team's 40-man roster and is currently signed under a minor league contract.
Usually, the non-roster invitees primarily consist of former major leaguers unable to obtain a major-league contract, career minor leaguers, and occasionally, low-level prospects whom the team would like to get some seasoning against major-league talent (albeit in games that generally do not matter).
For those of us die-hard fans, it's always fun to see who re-appears on the scene after years of obscurity - usually evoking a hey, I remember that guy! - and who could potentially factor into the major league club's plans if they can rediscover the formula that once made them a household name.
They are the players donning jersey numbers you usually only see in football; the types of guys who, when they come into the game, send announcers scrambling to figure out their identity.
The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays will go into spring training with a multitude of guys like that and we'll take a look at the most intriguing names on the list of this year's non-roster invitees.
The most intriguing names in this case, however, aren't the up-and-coming prospects just in camp to get some seasoning (e.g. Sean Nolin), but rather those players with the most interesting backstories and those who could contribute at the major-league level if an opportunity presents itself and they can return to the higher level of play at which they once performed.
Without further adieu, here are the most intriguing non-roster invitees in spring training for the Blue Jays this year.