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Cubs Issue 21 Non-Roster Spring Training Invitations

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That seems like a huge number of NRI's, doesn't it? That'd put 60+ players in camp. But, there are extra games this spring (about a week's worth) and a couple of split-squad games, and so a few extra bodies can't hurt.

Here's the complete list:
Eleven pitchers – lefthanders Ed Campusano, J.R. Mathes, Matt Smith, Mike Stanton, Jason Waddell and Bill White and righthanders Esmailin Caridad, Andrew Cashner, Chad Fox, Ken Kadokura and Rocky Roquet – have been invited to major league camp, as well as catchers Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger and Mark Johnson. Infielders Darwin Barney, Andres Blanco, Luis Rivas and Bobby Scales have also been invited, along with outfielders Doug Deeds, Jason Dubois and So Taguchi.

You may recognize the name Ken Kadokura on the list -- he's the Japanese pitcher the Cubs had some interest in a couple of weeks ago (at the time, I heard the interest was minimal, but apparently they decided it was enough for a NRI). At the time he was said to be 40 years old. He's not. He's 35, born in 1973. In any case, he's unlikely to make the major league roster. CLARIFICATION: the 40-year-old pitcher who the Cubs were rumored to have interest in was named Ken Takahashi. Ken Kadokura, who got the minor league contract with the invite to spring training, is an entirely different pitcher.

The most interesting name on that list is Luis Rivas, who was the Pirates' starting second baseman most of last year. Rivas isn't likely to make the major league team either -- he'll likely be the starting 2B at Iowa, if the Cubs keep him, ready in case of injury.

To me, there is one name I am very surprised to NOT see on the list -- Nate Spears. Did they forget they didn't lose him in the Rule 5 draft?

Finally, the Cubs' last arb-eligible player, Michael Wuertz, signed a one-year deal today. Dollar figures were not immediately available.