Dickey, Cabrera, Sandoval headline WBC rosters
International tournament to kick off March 2
The third edition of the World Baseball Classic, set to open March 2, will feature 45 former big-league All-Stars, according to Major League Baseball.
Final rosters were announced Thursday.
The 16-team international tournament will include the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, right-hander R.A. Dickey (USA); the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, third baseman Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela); and last year's World Series MVP, third baseman Pablo Sandoval (Venezuela).
The U.S. team will feature former MVPs Joe Mauer, Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Braun. The Canadian squad has two past MVPs, Justin Morneau and Joey Votto, while the Dominican Republic team has former MVP Miguel Tejada.
Other notable hitters on the U.S. roster are first baseman Mark Teixeira, second baseman Brandon Phillips, third baseman David Wright and outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Shane Victorino and Adam Jones. The U.S. pitching staff features, among others, Dickey, Gio Gonzalez, Derek Holland, Ryan Vogelsong, Craig Kimbrel, Chris Perez and Heath Bell.
Venezuela's team will include Cabrera, Sandoval, shortstops Elvis Andrus and Asdrubal Cabrera, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, catchers Miguel Montero and Ramon Hernandez, infielder Omar Infante, third baseman/outfielder Martin Prado, starter Carlos Zambrano and reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
The Dominican Republic club will include second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Nelson Cruz, shortstop/third baseman Hanley Ramirez, shortstop Jose Reyes, starting pitcher Edinson Volquez and relievers Fernando Rodney and Jose Valverde.
Puerto Rico boasts catcher Yadier Molina, outfielders Carlos Beltran and Alex Rios and pitcher Javier Vazquez.
The Mexican team has pitcher Yovani Gallardo and Adrian Gonzalez.
Four four-team pools open play the first week of March. Team USA's pool, to be played in Arizona, includes Canada, Italy and Mexico. The other pools will be held in Fukuoka, Japan; Taichung, Taiwan; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Two teams advance from each pool to the second round, which will be held March 7-10 in Tokyo and Miami. If the U.S. team advances, it would play in Miami.
The semifinals are set for March 17 and March 18 in San Francisco, which will be the site of the final on March 19.
Japan won the first two World Baseball Classics, in 2006 and 2009.
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