NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Full rosters for the 16-team World Baseball Classic will be unveiled in mid-January, but Major League Baseball provided a tease on Monday by revealing 32 committed participants. That group includes three representatives from the Cardinals.
Both Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina intend to represent Puerto Rico in the international showcase, which will take place over a three-week span in March. Left-hander Jaime Garcia was announced as one of the members for Team Mexico.
Garcia's inclusion in the event was met with some surprise, given his recent shoulder issues. He spent more than two months on the disabled list this summer due to a shoulder injury, and then had to be shut down during the postseason when the discomfort returned.
The pitcher opted not to undergo surgery to address the rotator cuff damage, preferring instead to go with a regimen of rest and rehab. While the Cardinals have said they are encouraged by Garcia's current progress, no one can be certain how his arm will respond when he resumes throwing in January.
General manager John Mozeliak was asked if such health concerns made him wary of allowing Garcia to participate in the Classic.
"I'm encouraged that physically he feels that he can compete," Mozeliak said. "In terms of making that final decision, it's something that we'll speak with him and his agent about. But right now, I think that it's very positive news."
The Cardinals could step in and request Garcia not be a part of the showcase if they feel it is too risky a venture.
The organization is expected to have other Classic participants, including at least one on the Team USA roster. Mozeliak would not confirm who that includes, noting that he'll wait for the Classic to make its official roster announcements next month.