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Padres Extend 18 Spring Training Invitations 

Smith Transactions

The San Diego Padres have extended invitations to 18 players to join the club for Spring Training in Arizona next month. Among those 18 players invited outside of the immediate 25-man roster include the Padres top three prospects in Catcher Austin Hedges, Pitcher Matt Wisler, and Outfielder Hunter Renfroe. While Hedges and Wisler took part in their first Major League Spring Training experience with the club last year, this will be Renfroe’s first trip to the “show-before-the-show.”

Aside from the team’s top prospects, recent free agent signings in pitchers Jose Valverde, Scott Elbert, and the return of Outfielder-converted-to-Pitcher Jason Lane will bring a much-needed veteran flare to the team in Peoria. Other players with major league experience include First Baseman Brett Wallace, Infielder Ramiro Peña, Pitcher Marcos Mateo, and Infielder/Outfielder Jake Goebbert.

The Padres have also extended invitations to handful of other farm products, including Storm/Missions Alumni OF Rico Noel, IF Diego Goris, C Rocky Gale, RHP Justin Hancock, LHP Chris Rearick, and of course IF/OF/1B/C/Everything-Else-Under-the-Sun-Utility-Man Cody Decker. Additional free-agents in their first season with the Padres organization include RHP Jay Jackson – a draftee of the Chicago Cubs Organization from 2008 – and C Griff Erickson – a draftee of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization from 2006.

Among the fresh-face free agents joining the club in Peoria this Spring, eight of those free agents – Jackson, Peña, Valverde, Mateo, Elbert, Wallace, Lane, and Erickson – were signed by the Padres during the offseason between November of 2014 and Monday morning.

Pitchers and Catchers are set to report to Peoria for Padres Spring Training on February 18th, while position players will be arriving about a week later on February 24th.

The Padres will play their first Spring Training game on Wednesday, March 4th against the Seattle Mariners in their annual charity game at 12:05pm.

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About the author: Ian Edward Russell Smith

Ian is a former writer for the San Diego Padres, having worked as the Padres' "In-Season Blogger" during the 2015 season. Ian wrote as a member of the Friarhood's writing staff between parts of 2013-2015, writing over 100 articles over that span. In addition to being a writer, Ian is also a recent graduate of California Western School of Law in San Diego, having earned a Juris Doctor, as well as his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Law & Society from the University of California, Riverside. Be sure to follow Ian on Twitter (@SDRedBull8) to see what other ramblings he's posted about the Padres, San Diego, and baseball in general!