Winter Meetings day 1 notes: Adrian Gonzalez, Hong-Chih Kuo to play in World Baseball Classic

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Pool D of the World Baseball Classic will begin play on Saturday, Mar. 7 at 12 p.m. PT at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, as Adrian Gonzalez and Mexico take on Italy.

Adrian Gonzalez is the only Dodgers player among initial player commitments for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, as the first baseman will play for Mexico. Gonzalez and Mexico will be a part of Pool D, along with the United States, Canada, and Italy.

Team USA will play Mexico at Chase Field on Friday, Mar. 8 at 6 p.m. PT. Team USA will complete its Pool D schedule with games on Saturday, Mar. 9 at 6 p.m. PT against Italy and on Sunday, Mar. 10 at 1 p.m. PT against Canada. All three Team USA games during Pool D will be played at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Other Pool D games include Canada vs. Italy at 11:30 a.m. on Mar. 8 at Salt River Fields, and Canada vs. Mexico at 11:30 a.m. on Mar. 9 at Chase Field.

Hong-Chih Kuo, now a free agent, will pitch for Chinese Tapei, which begins play in Pool B against Australia in Tokyo on Saturday, Mar. 2.

Among other notes, in and around the division:

  • All 30 MLB clubs have teamed up with Stand Up 2 Cancer this week for an auction which features many unique opportunities. Among the Dodgers items up for bid are a meet and greet with Vin Scully; lunch with Tommy Lasorda; and a private tour of Dodger Stadium along with a pitching lesson from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
  • Manager Don Mattingly sat down with Tim Kurkjian of ESPN talking about the new-look Dodgers and the increased expectations with their inflated payroll. Mattingly said he viewed Hanley Ramirez as a shortstop rather than a third baseman, but that Ramirez "has work to do" this winter, which is pretty much been the same viewpoint since the end of the season.
  • The Angels announced their 2013 spring training schedule on Monday, which includes two games in Anaheim as part of the freeway series. The games, previously TBD, are Thursday, Mar. 28 at 7:05 p.m. PT, and Saturday, Mar. 30 at 6:05 p.m. PT.
  • Angel Pagan, who was traded during last year's winter meetings, agreed to terms with the Giants during this year's winter meetings on a four-year contract. Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported the deal for the 31-year old outfielder to be worth $40 million.
  • Before you get excited about any Chase Headley rumors, consider this from Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who quoted a Padres official as saying, "We're not going to move Headley." That echoed something Padres general manager Josh Byrnes told Corey Brock of MLB.com a month ago: "I think people know we're not going to move him."
  • The Diamondbacks officially announced that they have sold relief pitcher Brad Bergesen to the Chunichi Dragons of Japan's Central League.
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