5 players on minor-league deals most likely to land on MLB rosters

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Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With the first round of position players reporting to spring camps Thursday, many will arrive with a chance to make a big-league squad if they can impress their respective coaching staffs.

A number of these players accepted minor-league deals during the offseason for a shot at making a major-league roster, keeping their dreams of playing in the show alive.

Here are five players who signed minor-league deals that are likely to land on an Opening Day roster:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Blue Jays, C

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2016 statistics: .171/.284/.346, 12 HR, 38 RBI
Competition: Juan Graterol, Michael Ohlman

With Russell Martin entrenched as the everyday starter for the Toronto Blue Jays and Josh Thole no longer needed to catch R.A. Dickey's knuckleball, Saltalamacchia appears set to open the season as the backup catcher north of the border. The former everyday player has little to no competition for the role, and offers Toronto a switch-hitting catcher with pop.

Peter Bourjos, White Sox, OF

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2016 statistics: .251/.292/.389, 20 2B, 23 RBI
Competition: Charlie Tilson, Leury Garcia

After Chicago traded Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals, and let Austin Jackson and J.B. Shuck sign elsewhere in free agency, Leury Garcia and Charlie Tilson remain the only players on the spring roster from the 2016 White Sox who played center field for the club last season. Tilson is being tabbed as a potential candidate to start in center on Opening Day, but he may have competition from the veteran Bourjos, whose defense is still above average, and who posted his highest OPS since 2013 last season with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Mark Reynolds, Rockies, 1B

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2016 statistics: .282/.356/.450, 14 HR, 53 RBI
Competition: Stephen Cardullo

Mark Reynolds can still hit the baseball, and returning to the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field is only going to help him continue to do so. The 33-year-old posted a .806 OPS before fracturing his hand last season. He'll likely be a bench player and spot starter at first when Ian Desmond needs a rest.

Desmond Jennings, Reds, OF

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2016 statistics: .200/.281/.350, 7 HR, 20 RBI
Competition: Arismendy Alcantara, Patrick Kivlehan

Desmond Jennings never turned out to be the premier big-league player the Tampa Bay Rays envisioned, but the 30-year-old still possesses the tools to give the Cincinnati Reds a capable fourth outfielder, joining Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall, and Scott Schebler in the team's rotation. Jennings has speed, is a plus defender in the outfield, and can hit one out here and there. If he produces in spring, he should make the team's Opening Day roster, but his health will be something to keep an eye on, as he's only appeared in 93 games during the past two seasons.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers, 1B

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2016 statistics: .253/.291/.441, 8 HR, 25 RBI
Competition: James Loney

The Texas Rangers are going to give 2010 American League MVP Josh Hamilton another chance with the club after they released him this past August. Hamilton will likely be used as a first baseman to take the toll off of his surgically repaired knees, and has a good shot of beating out James Loney for the job if he can rediscover the hitting stroke that once made him the most dangerous hitter in baseball.