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2021 player previews: the NRIs that made it

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There were a lot of minor league signings this offseason. These are the guys that made it.

New York Yankees v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Dave Dombrowski had an interesting philosophy to the offseason. Outside of the big idea signings of J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius, Dombrowski looked to add depth with smaller, more budget conscious deals. Archie Bradley is here on a one-year deal. Jose Alvarado was traded for because he was making too much money for Tampa Bay. But others were added on minor league deals. Some were almost guaranteed a spot the moment they signed, some had to fight to make the roster. These are their stories.

<Law & Order sound>

Brandon Kintzler

Kintzler always seemed like the logical guy to make it. He was fantastic in (small sample size) 2020, but because of unforeseen reasons (re: Marlins cheapness), he had to settle for a minor league deal. Making it to the team gives him a cool $3 million this season, where he does seem to have a chance to close out his fair share of games. Joe Girardi has yet to officially declare a closer, but if he decided to hand the ball off to Kintzler on certain situations, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to do.

Choosing between Kintzler and Tony Watson was never really all that difficult. Watson was good during spring, but Kintzler’s end of game history suggested he would always probably get the shot between the two. This one has a chance of paying some big dividends for the team.

Ronald Torreyes

The surprise addition to the roster, Torreyes seems to be a favorite of Girardi’s. He has to be in the team was willing to do the right thing and send Scott Kingery to the minors to open the season.

Torreyes was never really considered to be a favorite to get a roster spot, but the more and more Kingery struggled during spring, the more necessary it became for Torreyes to join the team. He won’t be counted on for much - a pinch hitter, a pinch runner, etc. - but he’ll definitely play a role early as pitchers still become used to throwing six and seven innings all the time. He’s also probably a candidate to be DFA’ed when (if?) Kingery returns to the big league team.

Matt Joyce

Joyce was a great addition on a minor league deal. He can play the corners rather reliably and can be that insurance in case something happens to either Bryce Harper or Andrew McCutchen. Used a bench bat, Joyce will provide some on base ability as well as a little pop to go with it. He isn’t blocking anyone in the minors, so even if there is an injury and return, Joyce looks likely to stay with the team for a bulk of the season.