Mets-Yankees will meet in Grapefruit play

The Mets will face the Yankees in Port St. Lucie on April 3 at 2:10 p.m., then the following day at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa at 12:05 p.m. to conclude spring training.

The Amazin's open the season on April 5 against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

The New York teams last met in spring training on March 1996 in Tampa, during the first year the Yankees had relocated to that city from Fort Lauderdale. The 161-mile distance between their Port St. Lucie and Tampa facilities, plus the beginning of their interleague regular-season meetings in 1997, resulted in the end of the annual spring-training competition. But the Mets now are in need of diversifying their Grapefruit League opponents.

With the departures of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Vero Beach to Arizona and the Baltimore Orioles from Fort Lauderdale to Sarasota, the Mets now only have three opponents that require less than a two-hour drive from Port St. Lucie -- the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins in Jupiter and the Washington Nationals in Viera. Two of those three teams are National League East opponents that the organization would prefer not seeing so often.