With the spread of COVID-19 still rampant in Arizona and Florida and following health guidelines and safety protocols, Major League Baseball on Friday released revised schedules for Cactus League and Grapefruit League games.
Games as part of 2021 Spring Training will begin on Sunday, Feb. 28, with 28 of the 30 MLB clubs in action for Cactus and Grapefruit league games. There will be no split-squad games as part of the changes.
Teams in Arizona’s Cactus League will play 28 games over 30 days (Feb. 28 to March 29) with two days off. The Florida-based Grapefruit League will play a regionalized schedule to mitigate travel. Teams on the east coast of Florida will play 24 games in 30 days with six off days. Teams on the west coast of Florida will play 28 games in 30 days with two universal days off.
Also, selected spring training games will be played at major-league ballparks, starting March 28. Some teams will also play an additional spring training game March 30.
The Mariners’ updated schedule features 14 home games at the Peoria Sports Complex and 14 road games, including a “road” game against the Padres in Peoria. Seattle will host the Padres on Sunday, Feb. 28, to open the Cactus League season. Their last game is against the Cincinnati Reds on March 29.
Of the Mariners’ 28 Cactus League games, 16 will be played during the day with 12 starting at 5:05 p.m. or later. Ten of the final 15 games will start after 6 p.m.
Due to logistical difficulties and safety issues, ROOT Sports, which is owned by the Mariners, will broadcast only eight games this season during spring training.
- Friday, March 12, vs. Cincinnati Reds, 5:40 p.m.
- Saturday, March 13, at Colorado Rockies, 12:10 p.m.
- Sunday, March 14, vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 1:10 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 17, vs. Angels, 6:40 p.m.
- Friday, March 19, vs. Chicago White Sox, 6:40 p.m.
- Monday, March 22, vs. Dodgers, 6:40 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 24, vs. Cubs, 6:40 p.m.
- Saturday, March 27, vs. Giants, 6:40 p.m.
The Mariners will have a live radio broadcast of every spring training game on their website, mariners.com, but only select games will be broadcast live on their flagship station: ESPN 710. Other games will be broadcast on tape delay.
Tacoma agrees to be Mariners’ Class AAA affiliate
Also, MLB formally announced that all 120 teams that had received invitations to be affiliates had accepted them as expected.
It means the Mariners’ four affiliates — Tacoma Rainiers (Class AAA), Arkansas Travelers (Class AA), Everett AquaSox (Advanced A), Modesto Nuts (Class A) — accepted invitations to be Professional Development League license holders. Only Tacoma didn’t previously announce it would immediately accept the invitation. But sources indicated the Rainiers were always going to accept the deal because there was no alternative.
Tacoma will be part of a 10-team Triple-A West League. Arkansas will play in the 10-team Double-A Central League. Everett will have just five other teams in its High-A West League. Modesto will play in the eight-team Low-A West League.