Advertisement

MLB's Grapefruit League to use Florida 'pods' for spring training

MLB's Grapefruit League to use Florida 'pods' for spring training
The New York Yankees are among the 15 Grapefruit League teams that will compete in a protective "pod" on the west coast of Florida as a safety precaution for COVID-19.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball's Grapefruit League teams also are expected to be placed in separate "pods" in Florida as a COVID-19 safety precaution.

Sources told The Athletic, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Miami Herald on Monday about the plan, which is an effort to reduce travel for the teams.

Advertisement

Teams based on Florida's west coast will play 28 games. Teams with facilities on Florida's east coast will play 24 games against east coast opponents and have four intrasquad matchups.

The Grapefruit League schedule is expected to start Feb. 26 and end March 30.

RELATED Longtime ESPN MLB reporter Pedro Gomez dies unexpectedly at 58

The Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Washington Nationals have training facilities on the east coast of Florida.

The Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles have facilities on or near the west coast of Florida.

Advertisement

MLB's 15 other teams have spring training in the Cactus League, plays in the Phoenix area. The Cactus League announced Feb. 1 that it plans to start spring training on time.

RELATED Players union rejects MLB offer, season to start on time

That announcement came after the league asked MLB to delay the start of spring training because of the high COVID-19 infection rate in Maricopa County, Ariz.

The Cactus League has spring training games listed every day from Feb. 27 through March 30 on its 2021 calendar, but some teams stopped selling tickets last week to "review" spring training details.

Sources told USA Today on Monday that split-squad games have been eliminated from the Cactus League schedule and that the MLB and players union hope to finalize a health and safety protocol by Tuesday for spring training.

RELATED MLB, players union mull 2021 season delay, 154 games

Sources told the Washington Post and The Athletic that MLB has been in contact with the Biden administration to discuss the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB and the players union said in early February that they expect to start the season on time April 1. Pitchers and catchers are expected to report to their spring training sites next week.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement