Brewers to have 14 players playing in the World Baseball ClassicWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Brewers say it’s both an honor and a concern to have 14 players from their organization named to various rosters for the World Baseball Classic.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Brewers say it’s both an honor and a concern to have 14 players from their organization named to various rosters for the World Baseball Classic.
It’s the most that any one club can contribute to the world tournament, which happens right during Spring Training. Assistant general manager Gord Ash says most of the players are not trying to win roster spots – so it shouldn’t hurt them. Ash said it would be a challenge for the Brewers to have both their main catchers gone for as long as their countries are in the tournament. But the clubs will have a longer Spring Training to make up for it.
The Brewer players will report to their camp at Phoenix on February 12th, and they’ll have seven exhibition games under their belt before the World tournament begins in the first week of March. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and outfielder Ryan Braun were named to the provisional roster for Team USA. Relievers John Axford and Jim Henderson will play for Canada, along with infielder Taylor Green. Starters Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada were named to Mexico’s roster. Catcher Martin Maldonado and pitcher Hiram Burgos will play for Puerto Rico. Outfielder Carlos Gomez is on the Dominican Republic’s roster, and infielder Jeff Bianchi will play for Italy. The Brewers also have three minor leaguers in the World tournament – infielder Mike Walker for Australia, outfielder Rene Tosoni for Canada, and infielder Hainley Statia for the Netherlands.
The Brewers avoided salary arbitration with center-fielder Carlos Gomez by signing him to a one-year, four-point-three million dollar contract. The 27-year-old Gomez more than doubled his salary after he hit .260 for Milwaukee last year with 19 homers, 51 RBI’s, and 37 stolen bases. He was in his final year of arbitration, and will be eligible for free agency after this season. Three Brewers are still eligible for salary arbitration – closer John Axford, starter Marco Estrada, and newly-acquired reliever Burke Badenhop. If they don’t get last-minute deals this morning, all three will exchange salary proposals with the Brewers this afternoon.