Team USA added another potent bat to the lineup for this year’s World Baseball Classic when it was reported by CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman that Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will join the team. Earlier today Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones announced that he had accepted an invitation to play in the WBC. Brandon Phillips, Joe Mauer, David Wright and Ryan Braun have already expressed their intentions to play in the tournament. Complete WBC rosters will be announced on Thursday night.
Team USA will be seeking its first WBC championship. Stanton boldly declared his intention about playing in the classic in September. When asked if he would consider playing Stanton replied, “Absolutely. Anything that represents your country is a big deal.”
Stanton has been in the news and the subject of trade rumors after voicing his displeasure over the Marlins blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. Stanton hit .290/.361/.608 with 37 home runs for the Marlins in 2012, and has a career total of 93 home runs over his three-year career.
Meanwhile Angels outfielder Mike Trout the American League Rookie of the Year and runner-up for AL Most Valuable Player, won’t participate in the World Baseball Classic. Trout’s agent, Craig Landis, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that his client informed tournament organizers he will not suit up for Team USA, citing Trout’s desire to participate in a regular spring training. Trout hit .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, a .564 slugging percentage and 30 home runs, while leading the American League with 129 runs scored and 49 stolen bases. Earlier newly signed free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton, Trout’s new teammate, announced that he would not play for team USA.