According to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said today that he plans to play for his native Dominican Republic in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be joined by his teammate Nelson Cruz.
Beltre was limited down the stretch last season due to an abdominal injury, but didn’t require offseason surgery and anticipates playing if he’s healthy.
“It’s too early yet because you go through spring training and an injury can hold you back a little bit,” said Beltre, who hit .300 in the 2006 WBC. “Of course if I don’t feel 100 percent healthy to be in the WBC I’m not going to force it. I’m not going to jeopardize what I’m trying to do here with this team to play the WBC. If everything goes well and I’m healthy I think I’m going to play.”
Cruz played in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, but Beltre, then a member of the Mariners, didn’t participate coming off shoulder and thumb surgeries.
The entire roster for the Dominican Republic hasn’t been announced, but Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes are also expected to be on the squad.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed outfielder Gregor Blanco to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Blanco hit a mere .224/.309/.311 in 106 games with the Giants in 2006. It was his worst campaign in his big league career, not counting a 24-game stint with the Braves in 2009. Blanco suffered at least one concussion in 2015 and was on the DL for concussion issues twice that season. There’s no telling if that had anything to do with his subpar year, however.
He’ll fight for a backup job for Arizona, who already has A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas in the outfield.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.