Astros owner Jim Crane says his team is close to joining the Blue Jays in their move to a new joint Palm Beach Gardens spring training home, which could be in place by 2016, according to Spring Training Online.
Port St. Lucie is roughly 40 minutes north of Palm Beach Gardens. The Astros currently train in Kissimmee, while the Blue Jays are in Dunedin on the west coast of Florida.
Today, the Mets, Cardinals and Marlins are the only teams left holding Spring Training on the east coast of Florida.
According to a TCPalm report this past spring, the Mets and Cardinals can break their respective deals with their current cities if three or fewer teams train nearby.
Michael Baron, Contributor
This is significant for the Mets. As it stands, the Mets play way too many games during Spring Training against their NL East rivals, who they go on play play 19 more times in the regular season. This creates an uncomfortable familiarity that teams on the west coast of Florida and in Arizona do not have to deal with. So, the Mets end up having to travel 2-3 hours by bus to play the Astros and Tigers to branch out.
If this move happens for the Blue Jays and Astros, it adds two more American League teams within a one-hour drive. It would mean fewer games against the same NL teams, less time spent on buses, and more time spent on baseball fields during a time when players need to be preparing for the regular season.