Ballplayers warming up under palm trees in Florida or near a cactus in Arizona are a sure sign that spring is on the way. Major league camps opened last week and spring training games begin this weekend. Here’s a look at the MLB teams that train in Florida, starting on the West Coast and working our way north, east, then south.
The Grapefruit and Cactus League exhibition games have never been more popular, with some games commanding prices on the secondary market at or near regular season prices. Later this week, we’ll take a look at the teams that train in Arizona.
Average resale ticket prices listed are secondary market prices from search site TiqIQ.com.
Ballpark: Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, FL, built 1991, capacity 7,500.
Ticket price range: Premium games (Cardinals, Yankees, Phillies), $16 to $43; All others, $13 to $40.
Average resale ticket price: $57.55.
About the Twins: Lost big hitters Michael Cuddyer (Rockies) and Josh Kubel (Diamondbacks) to free agency, added outfielder Josh Willigham to a team that lost 99 games in 2011.
Boston Red Sox
Ballpark: JetBlue Park, Fort Myers; built 2012, capacity 10,823.
Ticket price range: $5 (lawn) to $46.
Average resale ticket price: $102.01.
About the Red Sox: Can new manager Bobby Valentine help the team that collapsed in September bounce back? Auditions at shortstop and No. 4 and No. 5 starters in the rotation.
Tampa Bay Rays
Ballpark: Charlotte Sports Park, Port Charlotte, FL, built 1987, renovated 2008, capacity 7,000.
Ticket price range: $9 ($12 on weekends or vs. Yankees, Red Sox) to $27.
Average resale ticket price: $46.
About the Rays: Carlos Pena returns at first base. Wild card winners again have strong young pitching.
Ballpark: Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota, FL, built 1989, capacity 7,500.
Ticket price range: Prime games (Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies), $10 to $32. All others, $8 to $30.
Average resale ticket price: $49.
About the Orioles: Manager Buck Showalter’s teams usually show a big improvement in his second season at the helm (see Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers).
Ballpark: McKechnie Field, Bradenton, FL, built 1923, renovated 2002, capacity 6,500.
Ticket price range: Gold games (Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rays), $12 to $22. All others, $10-20.
Average resale ticket price: $48.
About the Pirates: It’ll likely be a record 20th losing season in a row for the Bucs, who did contend momentarily last summer.
Ballpark: Bright House Networks Field, Clearwater, FL, built 2004, capacity 8,700.
Ticket price range: $13 to $28.
Average resale ticket price: $63.86.
About the Phillies: Still have a vaunted pitching rotation (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels) and will try and bounce back from playoff loss to champion Cardinals.
Toronto Blue Jays
Ballpark: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin, built 1930, renovated 1989, capacity 6,100.
Ticket price range: Premium games (Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies), $20 to $28. All others, $15 to $21.
Average resale ticket price: $45.
About the Jays: Upgraded bullpen after .500 season. Finally time to challenge Yankees, Red Sox and Rays?
New York Yankees
Ballpark: Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, FL, built 1996, capacity 11,000.
Ticket price range: $17 to $33.
Average resale ticket price: $64.29.
About the Yankees: Revamped rotation by adding Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda. Can Derek Jeter duplicate his big second half from last season at 38?
Ballpark: Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, FL, built 1966, capacity 8,500.
Ticket price range: White game, $9 to $22: Orange game, $12 to $25; Navy game, $14 to $28.
Average resale ticket price: $53.91.
About the Tigers: Prince Fielder’s big bat joins AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander on the 2011 AL Central champions.
Ballpark: Champions Stadium, Lake Buena Vista, FL, built 1997, capacity 9,500.
Ticket price range: $15 to $51.
Average resale ticket price: $67.
About the Braves: Not too many major moves for a team coming off a September collapse that allowed the Cardinals to win the wild card.
Ballpark: Osceola County Stadium, Kissimmee, FL, built 1984, capacity 5,300.
Ticket price range: Premium games (Phillies, Cardinals, Tigers, Yankees), $18 to $27; all others, $15 to $22.
Average resale ticket price: $49.
About the Astros: Virtually unchanged from the team that lost a franchise record 106 games in 2011.
Ballpark: Space Coast Stadium, Viera, FL, built 1994, capacity 8,100.
Ticket price range: Prime game (Yankees), $17 to $36; all others, $12 to $26.
Average resale ticket price: $43.
About the Nats: Added lefty starter Gio Gonzalez via free agency. Will need surprise seasons from others to compete with Phillies, Braves and Marlins in the NL East.
New York Mets
Ballpark: Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, FL, built 1987, renovated 2004, capacity 7,347.
Ticket price range: Premium game (Yankees), $20 to $35; all others, $8 to $25.
Average resale ticket price: $42.
About the Mets: Lost shortstop Jose Reyes to Marlins via free agency. Prospects dim as they trim payroll following an 85-loss season.
St. Louis Cardinals
Ballpark: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, FL, built 1998, capacity 7,200.
Ticket price range: Super premium game (Red Sox), $16 to $36; premium games (Braves, Twins, Nationals, Marlins) $12 to $32; all others, $8 to $28.
Average resale ticket price: $56.21.
About the Cardinals: World champions lost the face of the franchise Albert Pujols to Angels via free agency and manager Tony La Russa to retirement.
Ballpark: Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter (share with Cardinals).
Ticket price range: $16 to $36.
Average resale ticket price: $56.72.
About the Marlins: Free spenders in the off-season brought in Jose Reyes at shortstop, Mark Buehrle for the rotation and Heath Bell at closer. Plus, fiery Ozzie Guillen left White Sox to take over as manager.