MLB in process of finalizing revised Grapefruit League schedule, placing teams in separate “pods” on east and west coasts of Florida, sources tell me and @MattGelb. West-coast teams in FL will play 28 games and east-coast teams 24, making up rest with intrasquad-type matchups.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 8, 2021
That’s fewer games than most teams in Florida currently have scheduled. For example, the Red Sox, who are on the west coast of Florida, currently have a 34-game spring schedule. The Marlins and Cardinals, who share a spring park on the east coast of Florida, both have 30 games scheduled at the present time.
Could something like this be happening for Cactus League teams in Arizona? That might explain why the Diamondbacks and Rockies postponed a spring training ticket sale that was supposed to happen last Saturday:
Due to further review regarding Spring Training details, the D-backs and Rockies will be temporarily postponing ticket sales to Spring Training games. We will alert fans with information about a new on sale date when it is available. pic.twitter.com/U8FtGNd9FR— Salt River Fields (@SaltRiverFields) February 5, 2021
Rescheduling games would certainly come under the category of “further review regarding Spring Training details.”
The schedule changes in Florida are likely because the teams there are located several hours’ bus ride from each other and keeping them in the same geographic area. The same thing could be done in Arizona, even though the parks there aren’t separated by as much distance. Six teams have spring camps on the eastern side of the Phoenix area: Cubs, Athletics, Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Angels, and nine on the western side: Brewers, White Sox, Dodgers, Rangers, Royals, Mariners, Padres, Indians and Reds.
So MLB could reduce spring travel in Arizona by splitting these 15 clubs into two groups.
As always, we await developments.