A non-roster invitee in
baseball, also known as a NRI, is a player invited to participate in a particular Major League team's spring trainingwithout having a spot on that team's 40-man roster.
Some non-roster invitees are well-regarded prospects who are given the invitation so that they can face high-level spring competition and receive instruction from the parent team's coaching staff. The majority, however, are veterans who for reason of past performance or injury were unable to attract an offer of a guaranteed contract with a major league club. Non-roster invitees are always under some type of contract for insurance reasons, as teams would risk incurring liability if an unsigned player were injured at their facility.
A non-roster invitee typically receives what is known as a "split contract", which will pay a comparatively large sum of money for any time the player spends on the team's
25-man roster, and a smaller sum for time spent in the minor leagues. Most teams add at least one or two non-roster invitees at the end of spring training, with the remaining players either being released or added to the roster of one of the teams in the parent club's farm system. Many veteran non-roster invitees who are assigned to the minors in this fashion have an " escape clause" in their contract, enabling them to walk away from the agreement if they perceive an opportunity for advancement in another organization.
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