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Baez excited about Classic reunion with friend

Cubs infielder, Indians' Lindor ready for Team Puerto Rico duties
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Javier Baez can't wait to be reunited with Francisco Lindor on Team Puerto Rico.

Baez, who played his last game with the Cubs on Sunday before joining the Puerto Rico squad to prepare for the World Baseball Classic, played with Lindor when he was 17 years old in a tournament in Jupiter, Fla., in 2010. Lindor started at shortstop while Baez was at second, and the two talented infielders are expected to start at those positions again when Puerto Rico opens play against Venezuela on Friday in Jalisco, Mexico.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Javier Baez can't wait to be reunited with Francisco Lindor on Team Puerto Rico.

Baez, who played his last game with the Cubs on Sunday before joining the Puerto Rico squad to prepare for the World Baseball Classic, played with Lindor when he was 17 years old in a tournament in Jupiter, Fla., in 2010. Lindor started at shortstop while Baez was at second, and the two talented infielders are expected to start at those positions again when Puerto Rico opens play against Venezuela on Friday in Jalisco, Mexico.

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"I'm really excited," Baez said Sunday about playing in the event. "Everybody keeps telling me it's fun, and at the same time the competition is really good. We've got a pretty good team. We'll see how everything goes, and me and Lindor up the middle is a big thing. We'll see what we can do together."

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

The Puerto Rican team will work out Tuesday in Scottsdale, and play the Giants on Wednesday and the Rockies on Thursday before going to Mexico.

Manager Joe Maddon said he noticed Baez looked ready to go.

"He came here with a purpose to get ready for this," Maddon said.

"I like to play hard all the time," Baez said. "I won't go out there if I don't feel 100 percent. I'm just trying to do my best and obviously get ready for the season, too."

The World Baseball Classic runs from Monday through March 22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. The tournament will be distributed internationally across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chicago Cubs, Puerto Rico, Javier Baez