Viola reflects on ‘life or death’ situation at first unsigned-players’ camp

Frank Viola has vivid memories of what he calls “the get-together in Homestead” back in 1995. It was his chance to show teams that he was healthy coming back from Tommy John surgery.


With more than 90 unsigned free agents still looking for teams, including some of the biggest names on the market, the union has partnered with the IMG Academy, a 500-plus acre facility in Bradenton, Fla., to offer a spring training of sorts for unsigned players.

Former Astros manager Bo Porter will run the workouts, which begin Tuesday, and will end some time in March.

“It’s a way for those guys to get together and do something in a group,” says Viola, who will be busy at Mets’ camp – he’s the pitching coach for the Mets’ Double-A Binghamton club. “There’s a lot of free agents out there. You have to have a place to work out if you’re unsigned. In a group, they can push each other and be ready when a team calls.

Source: Anthony McCarron,

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