NEW YORK -- The Yankees have three confirmed representatives in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, as Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Francisco Cervelli have signed on to suit up for the tournament.
Teixeira will play first base for manager Joe Torre's Team USA squad, while Cano is manning second base for the Dominican Republic and Cervelli will wear the catching gear for Team Italy.
This is the second trip to the Classic for all three players: Teixeira played in the inaugural 2006 tournament, while Cano and Cervelli played for their current teams in the 2009 Classic.
|Bracket | Full scoreboard|
"I'm just so excited to be a part of this year's team," Teixeira said on MLB Network. "I was 25 years old on the first World Baseball Classic team, looking at guys like Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, some of the greats of the game.
"I was actually in awe my first time around, and now I'm coming back as the only guy left from the 2006 team. I guess I'm one of the veterans now."
There had been speculation that left-hander Andy Pettitte would join Teixeira on Team USA, with Torre reportedly nudging the 40-year-old veteran to play, but Pettitte was not listed on the released roster.
Some have voiced concern about Pettitte adding to his workload, especially coming off a season in which he was limited to 12 regular-season starts by a fractured left ankle, but it is still possible that Pettitte could join the roster at a later date.
Torre and Team USA general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. submitted a roster with 27 of 28 spots filled, leaving open one slot for a starting pitcher. All 16 teams have until Feb. 20 to file their formal rosters.
Cano announced in December that he intended to play for the Dominican Republic, and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena will manage the team. Cervelli is of Venezuelan and Italian descent; his father, Manuel, emigrated from Italy to Venezuela as a boy.
Teixeira said that it was "pretty cool" to get a call from Torre asking him to participate, and he added that he has kicked his offseason workouts in high gear to be ready for the Classic.
"As soon as I talked to Joe, I called [Yankees hitting coach] Kevin Long and said, 'K-Long, we've got two weeks before I report to the World Baseball Classic. Get me ready.' Usually, I'd say we have five weeks, six weeks to get ready.
"You do your extra work and maybe you're worried more about your body than your swing. This year, let's get a jump start, because I want to go out there and really dominate when I put on the uniform for the World Baseball Classic."
The first round of World Baseball Classic pool play will be held from March 7-10. Teixeira and Cervelli will be with their respective clubs in Phoenix, while Cano's Dominican club will play in San Juan, Puerto Rico.