LOS ANGELES — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has been confirmed to play for Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, announced as one of 30 major league players — including 24 All-Stars — committed to play in the event next March. Which Dodgers might join him to play in the international event remains to be seen.
Gonzalez has been a staple in the World Baseball Classic since its inception in 2006, playing for Mexico in 2006, 2009 and 2013, as well as the tournament qualifier last March. Gonzalez’s brother Edgar manages Mexico, and Adrian accompanied the team in November for a pair of exhibition games against Japan in Tokyo, though he did not play.
Alex Verdugo did play center field for Mexico in those two games, and is an option to play for them again in March. Yasiel Puig in October expressed a desire to play for Mexico -- he established residency there in 2012 before signing with the Dodgers — and both are on the provisional roster list for Mexico per Bambino Sedano of Puro Beisbol, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they are confirmed for the final roster.
Other potential Dodgers in the tournament have yet to be determined. Kenta Maeda joining Japan sounds like a no-go, per Doug Padilla of ESPN:
When speaking to a group of reporters from Japan on Monday at the winter meetings, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was asked about Maeda’s WBC plans.
“I think that ... I don’t know,” Roberts said. “I think that Kenta declined.”
Roberts then turned to a Dodgers official, with a look that suggested he might have said something out of turn.
“Did Kenta decline to play?” Roberts asked. “I don’t know.”
The opportunity exists for both Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw to play for Team USA, though neither has fully decided yet.
Clayton Kershaw said he hasn't decided on whether or not he'll pitch for Team USA in #WBC— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) December 5, 2016
Clayton Kershaw played catch today for the first time this winter. He said he felt fine. He expects a "healthy offseason."— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) December 5, 2016
Clayton Kershaw said he considers his back injury healed and he began his winter throwing program today.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) December 5, 2016
The first round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, with 16 teams separated into four pools, in Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Jalisco. The second round will be played from March 12-16 in Tokyo, and from March 14-19 in San Diego, followed by the tournament semifinals and final at Dodger Stadium from March 20-22.