Major League Baseball's spring training schedule opens when the Boston Red Sox host Northeastern University on Feb. 21 at Fort Myers, Fla., in what the commissioner's office says is the earliest start to exhibition games.
In the Cactus League, 3 games are scheduled on Feb. 22. All teams are scheduled to play on Saturday.
The commissioner's office said Wednesday the previous earliest start for spring training games was Feb. 24 in 2011.
World Baseball Classic teams from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain and Venezuela will play exhibition games against major league clubs in Florida on March 5 and 6, and Canada, Italy, Mexico and the U.S. will play in Arizona. The semifinalists advancing from Tokyo will play exhibitions in Arizona on March 14 and 15.
The last day of scheduled games in the Cactus League is March 30.
Cactus League spring training schedule: www.cactusleague.com/files/2013-schedule.pdf
The Associated Press contributed to this report.