Royals

Mark the calendar: Royals’ pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14

Updated: 2013-11-20T05:48:18Z

By BOB DUTTON

The Kansas City Star

Start the countdown to spring training.

The Royals announced their reporting dates and released their spring schedule Tuesday for the 2014 season. It all begins Feb. 14 when pitchers and catchers report to the club’s year-round complex in Surprise, Ariz.

That’s right: Valentine’s Day.

The first full-squad workout is Feb. 20 in preparation for the Cactus League opener on Feb. 27 against campus co-tenant Texas at Surprise Stadium. The 30-game spring schedule concludes March 28-29 with two games against the Brewers in Milwaukee.

The Royals open the 2014 regular season on March 31 in Detroit.

Spring season tickets to the Royals’ 14-game home schedule go on sale Dec. 2 through mail orders to the Surprise Recreation Campus box office. Fans can call (623) 222-2222 or go online here to obtain a ticket brochure.

Individual spring game tickets become available Dec. 9 through an online pre-sale at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000. The stadium box office opens at 7 a.m. Mountain time on Jan. 4 for walk-up purchases.

Tickets purchased online or over the phone are subject to a service charge.

Roster deadline

The Royals, like all clubs, have until 11 p.m. Wednesday to set their 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place Dec. 12 at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Clubs can continue to add major-league players to their roster through trades or free-agent signings, even if it requires a corresponding space-clearing move, but are prohibited from adding any player from their minor-league system until after the draft.

Prospects become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if not protected by a club on its 40-man roster after four or five pro seasons: four years for players who are 19 or older when they sign their first pro contract; five years for those younger than 19.

The Royals have one opening on their roster following Sunday’s move to sign free-agent catcher Francisco Pena. Adding more than one player prior to the deadline would require a corresponding space-clearing move.

Club officials are believed to be considering several prospects as roster additions, including reliever Michael Mariot, infielder Christian Colon, third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and outfielders Brett Eibner, Lane Adams and Brian Fletcher.

Report: Johnson to sign with Padres

Another free-agent pitcher viewed by the Royals as a possible replacement for right-hander Ervin Santana appears to be heading elsewhere.

Right-hander Josh Johnson agreed to a one-year deal for $8 million with San Diego, according to ESPN. He indicated a strong preference to return to the National League after spending an injury-filled season in Toronto after parts of nine years with Miami.

Johnson, 29, would be the second of the Royals’ potential off-season targets to slip away this week to an NL team. Veteran right-hander Tim Hudson signed a two-year deal for $23 million Monday with San Francisco.

The Royals have also been linked to free-agent Phil Hughes, who spent the last seven years with the New York Yankees. The Royals also remain interested in retaining Santana, but not at his asking price of $112 million over five years.

Royals 2014 spring schedule

*All times Central; dates and times subject to change

(SS) – indicates split squad

Date Opponent Location Time*
Feb. 27TexasSurprise2:05
Feb. 28at TexasSurprise2:05
March 1San DiegoSurprise2:05
March 2at Chicago CubsMesa2:05
March 3at Chicago White SoxGlendale2:05
March 4CincinnatiSurprise2:05
March 5at ArizonaScottsdale2:05
March 6Chicago White Sox (SS)Surprise2:05
March 7San FranciscoSurprise2:05
March 8at MilwaukeeMaryvale2:05
March 9ColoradoSurprise3:05
March 10at Seattle (SS)Peoria3:05
March 11Los Angeles DodgersSurprise3:05
March 12at OaklandPhoenix3:05
March 13at ClevelandGoodyear3:05
March 14OaklandSurprise3:05
March 15Chicago CubsSurprise3:05
March 16at San Diego PadresPeoria3:05
March 17TexasSurprise8:05
March 18TuesdayOPEN DATE
March 19CincinnatiSurprise8:05
March 20Los Angeles AngelsSurprise3:05
March 21at CincinnatiGoodyear3:05
at LA AngelsTempe3:05
March 22TexasSurprise3:05
March 23at San FranciscoScottsdale3:05
March 24at ColoradoScottsdale3:05
March 25SeattleSurprise8:05
March 26at San DiegoPeoria3:05
March 27ThursdayOPEN DATE
March 28at MilwaukeeMilwaukee7:10
March 29at MilwaukeeMilwaukee1:10

To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to bdutton@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/Royals_Report.

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