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

11/19/2013 12:44 PM

11/19/2013 11:48 PM

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. 27 Texas Surprise 2:05
Feb. 28 at Texas Surprise 2:05
March 1 San Diego Surprise 2:05
March 2 at Chicago Cubs Mesa 2:05
March 3 at Chicago White Sox Glendale 2:05
March 4 Cincinnati Surprise 2:05
March 5 at Arizona Scottsdale 2:05
March 6 Chicago White Sox (SS) Surprise 2:05
March 7 San Francisco Surprise 2:05
March 8 at Milwaukee Maryvale 2:05
March 9 Colorado Surprise 3:05
March 10 at Seattle (SS) Peoria 3:05
March 11 Los Angeles Dodgers Surprise 3:05
March 12 at Oakland Phoenix 3:05
March 13 at Cleveland Goodyear 3:05
March 14 Oakland Surprise 3:05
March 15 Chicago Cubs Surprise 3:05
March 16 at San Diego Padres Peoria 3:05
March 17 Texas Surprise 8:05
March 18 Tuesday OPEN DATE
March 19 Cincinnati Surprise 8:05
March 20 Los Angeles Angels Surprise 3:05
March 21 at Cincinnati Goodyear 3:05
at LA Angels Tempe 3:05
March 22 Texas Surprise 3:05
March 23 at San Francisco Scottsdale 3:05
March 24 at Colorado Scottsdale 3:05
March 25 Seattle Surprise 8:05
March 26 at San Diego Peoria 3:05
March 27 Thursday OPEN DATE
March 28 at Milwaukee Milwaukee 7:10
March 29 at Milwaukee Milwaukee 1:10

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