The end of January is a beautiful time for Major League Baseball fans. Most teams have made their big offseason moves and are just counting the days until pitchers and catchers report.
For the New York Yankees, spring training is going to be a madhouse as everyone gets a look at new acquisitions Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and, of course, Masahiro Tanaka.
It's also a chance for less-heralded players to make an impression on the talent evaluators and put themselves on the radar. These are the players who have been invited to spring training without a guaranteed roster spot.
The Yankees have invited 26 players to spring training, with nine of them being signed to minor league deals. Some of these players have been in the system for years, like Tyler Austin and Mason Williams, while others are clinging to whatever future they might have, like Russ Canzler and Bruce Billings.
As you would expect from a group of non-roster invitees, it's not the best collection of talent, but injuries happen, and someone, probably a reliever, on the MLB team will fail to meet expectations.
To prepare you for spring training, we wanted to look at the five most notable non-roster invitees and why they could end up in New York at some point in 2014.
Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.