Dodgers Rumors: Yasiel Puig Not Playing For Team Mexico In 2017 World Baseball Classic
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While Spring Training is a mere two months away, the 2017 World Baseball Classic is not far behind. Pools A and B open WBC play on March 17, 2017, with games played at the Tokyo Dome and Gocheok Sky Dome, respectively.

Dodger Stadium will host the semifinals and final from March 20-22. In a break from previous years, Team USA is on track to field a roster with some of the top names in baseball. It may grow to include Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and shortstop Corey Seager.

Both acknowledged they have interest in participating, but neither has given their commitment. Conversely, Adrian Gonzalez was among 24 MLB players recently confirmed to play in the WBC.

Gonzalez will represent Team Mexico, which is managed by his brother, Edgar. While Yasiel Puig expressed a desire to also play on the Mexican roster, that no longer is feasible.

As explained in Spanish by Bambino Sedano of Milenio TV and La Afición, Puig did not gather and submit the necessary paperwork in time:

After defecting from Cuba, Puig established residency in Mexico in order to be cleared by MLB to sign with clubs, which made him eligible to represent the country. Cuba does not allow players who have defected to be part of their national team.

Although Puig has been ruled out, it’s plausible Gonzalez will be teammates with Julio Urias or Alex Verdugo. But whether the Dodgers would allow for Urias to participate in the international tournament isn’t clear.

Verdugo joined Team Mexico in November for a two-game exhibition series against Japan in Tokyo. Mexico begins the 2017 WBC in Guadalajara on March 9.