We learned today that the date is finally set for the Washington Nationals pitchers and catchers to report to Spring Training camp is on Valentine’s Day. H/T to Laura Peebles on noticing that February 14th was marked as -the- day. That day is when we get that feeling of warmth that real baseball is back, and the off-season officially ends.
While most openings to spring training are uneventful, any time you have a new manager it adds some intrigue. This will be Dave Martinez‘s first spring training as a manager. He will welcome his pitchers and catchers to The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for the first time. The full squad reports 5 days later on February 19th, the first full squad work-outs are on February 21st, and the first game is 2 days after the first full squad work-outs.
With Opening Day in Cincinnati on March 29th which is just 84 days away, it seems surreal with so many unsigned free agents. The off-season has been progressing at a snail’s pace with only 23 of the top 80 free agents signed to this point after Wade Davis was signed last week. Only one free agent has been signed on Jon Heyman’s top 10 and that was Davis. There are dozens of pitchers and catchers still available on Heyman’s list. The Washington Nationals could still use another starting pitcher and a catching upgrade — but I guess you have heard that before!
We can look forward to what spring training brings which is that fresh breath of hope. It is a new beginning to a new season. Last year, Mike Rizzo kept signing players after Spring Training camp opened. He added Matt Wieters and Adam Lind to finalize the roster. The Wieters signing caught few by surprise as it had been rumored that it could happen. When that signing became official, it created a lot of drama with Derek Norris who the Nats traded for then released before camp ended.
For now, the off-season continues and we are just a little more than 40 days until pitchers and catchers report.