The baseball offseason is over. Spring training is here!
The Oakland A's launch the annual rite of spring Monday by holding the first official workout for pitchers and catchers. The Seattle Mariners and Cleveland Indians follow on Tuesday, with the remainder of MLB's 30 teams ramping up in the coming days. (The A's and Mariners are getting an early start because they travel to Japan for two exhibition games each against Japanese teams on March 17-18 -- followed by the first two regular-season games against each other March 20-21 at Tokyo Dome.)
A's camp, in Mesa, Ariz., also happens to be the site of one of the spring's most interesting dramas, which took a major turn on Monday: Outfield prospect Kyler Murray -- also known as the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Oklahoma and a potential first-round NFL Draft pick -- will pursue a football career over a baseball career, he announced on Twitter.
The first spring training game is Feb. 21, and every team has a game on Feb. 23.
The next couple of weeks will be full of manicured lawns, bullpen-session video, far-off photos of infield drills and even some celebrity guests.