Now being held every four years, the 2013 edition of the MLB created World Baseball Classic will take place in March (click here for the schedule), and full rosters will be announced in January.
But names of MLB participants are slowly being announced, including one very important Tiger. A second team member has been denied permission by the team to participate and a third was asked not to play.
The reigning AL MVP and Triple crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, released a statement saying he will play for his native Venezuela:
"Baseball is a passion in Venezuela, and I look forward to playing for my country against the rest of the world."
Cabrera played in the 2006 and 2009 WBC, Venezuela placing seventh and third, respectively.
Victor Martinez played for Venezuela in the inaugural 2006 edition of the WBC and was hoping to play this time around as well. Being he is still rehabbing after his 2012 knee surgery, Martinez has been denied permission by the Tigers to play in the upcoming WBC.
Apparently Martinez is in agreement with the decision, as GM Dave Dombrowski said "and we have not been fought on that." Considering the stakes and the Tigers' wanting to protect their investment, it's a reasonable response.
The third Tiger who has confirmed his status for the WBC is Alex Avila, an American who was claimed by Spain. Having been slowed by nagging injuries the past two seasons, the Tigers asked Avila not to play. Tigers' assistant GM Al Avila confirmed his son would sit out.
"If he were to play, he'd want to play for USA — down the road."