Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Angels star Mike Trout commits to play for Team USA in 2023 World Baseball Classic

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The World Baseball Classic returns next spring, and when it does, Mike Trout will be there. The Los Angeles Angels star told reporters Monday he intends to play in the 2023 WBC. In fact, Team USA GM Tony Reagins said Trout is “going to be our team captain, too,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Reagins was the Angels GM when Trout was drafted in 2009.

“I’m looking forward to playing for our country,” Trout said Monday during a media session ahead of the 2022 MLB All-Star Game (per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).  

Trout, who was placed on the injured list with ribcage inflammation Monday and will not play in the All-Star Game, has never played in the World Baseball Classic. He said he was open to playing in the 2021 WBC before it was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2023 WBC will be the first since the United States won gold in the 2017 WBC.

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Rosters won’t be finalized for months and Trout is the first player to commit to Team USA. Trey Mancini has committed to play for Italy and Joc Pederson has committed to play for Israel. Freddie Freeman has said he is open to playing for Canada again, as he did in 2017. Both of Freeman’s parents are Canadian, giving him eligibility for the WBC.

The WBC showcases the top talent in the world in a best-on-best tournament, and is part of MLB’s efforts to grow the game globally. Japan won the 2006 and 2009 events before the Dominican Republic won the 2013 title. Team USA beat Puerto Rico in the 2017.  

Team USA is in Pool C with Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and a fifth team that will be decided in a qualifier event this fall. Here are the 2023 WBC venues, dates, and schedule.  

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