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Mets will get an earlier start on Grapefruit play

Spring Training schedule opens Feb. 23 against NL East-rival Nationals
NEW YORK -- Spring will come early for the Mets and other MLB teams next year, with New York opening its Spring Training schedule on Feb. 23 in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Due to the return of the World Baseball Classic, the Mets will begin Grapefruit League play about a week earlier than in most other years. Their Feb. 23 game against the Nationals is one of 31 Grapefruit games on the spring schedule, which also includes exhibitions against the University of Michigan and the Venezuelan WBC team.

Because of their location on Florida's Atlantic coast, the Mets will again spend most of their time playing teams within their division. They will see the Nationals and Marlins six times each during the Grapefruit League season, and the Braves four times. The Mets will also play the Cardinals six times, the Tigers five times and the Astros four times.

The Mets' Grapefruit League schedule ends on March 28 against the Nationals, but Opening Day is not until April 1. Though the Mets have kicked around the idea of playing a pair of exhibition games at their new Triple-A park in Las Vegas, nothing is official.

The Mets will play four Spring Training night games and host two of them at Digital Domain Park, on Feb. 25 against the Nationals and March 27 against the Cardinals. They have not announced the deadline for pitchers and catchers to report to Port St. Lucie.

The Mets also announced the launch of the 2013 Amazin' Getaways Spring Training packages, with departures from New York City scheduled each Friday from Feb. 22 through March 22. Packages start at $439 per person and include hotel accommodations, rental car and game tickets. More information is available at

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.

New York Mets