Today Didi Gregorius confirmed that he will play for the Netherlands in this year’s World Baseball Classic. With Tanaka announcing yesterday that he has no plans to join Japan’s WBC team in spite of voicing initial interest, Gregorius joins Dellin Betances (DR) as the only Yankees currently committed to this year’s tournament.
You might not think it, but the Netherlands’ team is looking like it will make a strong showing this spring after making it to the semi-finals in 2013, where they lost to the Dominican Republic, that year’s eventual champions. MLB players who have committed to team Netherlands so far include Xander Bogaerts, Andreton Simmons, Jonathan Schoop, and Jurickson Profar. Notably absent from the roster is the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen, who already said he will not be playing this year. That’s an awful lot of shortstops though, huh? Well, Bogaerts recently said that he’ll be playing third while Simmons mans short, meaning Didi will likely look to second or DH when it comes to playing time.