Joey Votto still hasn’t decided if he’s playing in the World Baseball Classic


World Baseball Classic games begin this weekend, yet Joey Votto still hasn’t made a decision about whether he’ll play for Team Canada.

Votto’s status for the tournament is in question because of the pair of knee surgeries he had last season, but he’s healthy enough to have played in five spring training games for the Reds already.

Votto explained the delayed decision to Barry Bloom of

I don’t think it would be fair to anybody to make a commitment like that and then back out right beforehand. I just want to make sure I’m healthy.

Which is fine, except if his health is truly still in question just days before the start of the tournament it would seem like a no-brainer to skip the WBC. And the Reds would probably prefer that too.

Team Canada workouts begin Monday and they have an exhibition game Wednesday … against the Reds. However, even if Votto decides to play for Canada he’s unlikely to see any WBC action until the games actually count.

Marlins sign Sean Burnett to minor league deal

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Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.

Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.

Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.