Is is too early to look ahead to spring training?
The Mariners announced their 2016 Cactus League schedule Tuesday along with their various reporting and first-workout dates.
Their 33-game schedule begins March 2 against San Diego, their co-tenant at the Peoria (Ariz.) Sports Complex. The Mariners will break camp after an April 2 game against Colorado at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The regular season begins April 4 at Texas. The home opener is April 8 against Oakland at Safeco Field.
The Mariners open camp Feb. 18 when pitchers and catchers undergo physical examinations at the club’s year-round complex in Peoria. Workouts for those players begin the following day.
The rest of the spring roster — infielders and outfielders — will undergo physicals on Feb. 24. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 25.
The Mariners also announced a special pre-sale of single-game spring tickets from Dec. 5-7 for season-ticketholders and fans who have registered at www.Mariners.com.
Single-game tickets become available to all fans, through online sales, on Dec. 12. The Peoria Stadium box office opens on Jan. 9.
Outfield prospect Tyler O’Neill, who hit 32 homes this season in 106 games at Hi-A Bakersfield, wrote a piece for the Canadian Baseball Network on the importance of representing Canada in international events.
"The fact of being one of the select few to be called upon… to show that I am Canada will always be an honour," he wrote, "no matter what stage of my career I’m in."
O’Neill, 20, was the Mariners’ third-round pick in 2013 and is one of five prospects from the organization taking part in the Premier 12 tournament in Taiwan.
Outfielder Gareth Morgan is also playing for Canada, while pitchers Emilio Pagan and Nick Valenza are representing Puerto Rico, and infielder Gianfranco Wawoe is playing for the Netherlands.
MINOR-LEAGUE FREE AGENTS
General manager Jerry Dipoto points to a need to add depth as an off-season priority. That depth can often be found by sifting through the list of minor-league free agents.
Here’s a complete list, courtesy of Baseball America.
Minor-league players generally become eligible for free agency if their contract has been renewed six times or if they’ve spent all or part of seven seasons on a minor-league roster.
***Lefty reliever C.J. Riefenhauser, acquired last week from Tampa Bay, has allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings in four outings for Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League.
***Outfielder James Jones is on a .357 roll (17-for-45) over his last 11 games at Aragua in Venezuela. He is batting .329 overall in 22 games with a .383 on-base percentage.
***Lefty swingman Vidal Nuno is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts for Aragua. He has allowed four earned runs in 24 innings.
***Lefty James Paxton is logging some necessary innings for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, but he’s getting hit around. He has given up 12 runs (10 earned) and 26 hits in 20 1/3 innings.
***First baseman Kyle Petty, who spent last year at Bakersfield, was picked as the player of the week in Australian Baseball League. He is is 20-for-50 (.400) in 12 games for Adelaide with five homers and 15 RBIs.
***Lefty reliever Ryan Horstman, a late Fall League replacement at Peoria for Tony Zych, has not allowed a run in 6 2/3 innings over seven appearances.