Posada may be aiming for WBC
As of this moment, the only Yankees players committed to the World Baseball Classic are Derek Jeter (U.S.) and Alex Rodriguez (Dominican Republic). But that may be about to change … at least if Jorge Posada has his way.
A couple of reports out of Puerto Rico insist Posada wants to play for their WBC team and is aiming to do so. It seems unlikely the Yankees would permit him to play coming off surgery and with CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett joining the pitching staff.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have Posada healthy in camp so he can help the Yankees during the regular season? Ivan Rodriguez is ready and willing to catch for Puerto Rico. You can probably rule Mariano Rivera out of pitching for Panama as well – the Yankees have never been all too keen on WBC participation.
Here is the translated text from an Associated Press report:
SAN JUAN – Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has every intention of playing for Team Puerto Rico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic and has begun training for the tournament, said his father, Jorge Posada Sr., on Tuesday.
Posada Sr., a veteran coach and scout, told the Associated Press that his son trains every day at Legends Fields in Tampa, Florida, the Yankees’ spring training home.
“Jorge already signed the participation agreement and trains every day at the team’s complex in Tampa,” he said.
Posada is continuing his rehab program after shoulder surgery, which affected his playing time last season.
“He feels fine and wants to play for Puerto Rico”, assured Posada Sr.
However, Jason Zillo, the Yankees’ Media Relations director, told Primera Hora, a Puerto Rican newspaper, that the team would not give Posada permission to participate.
“He is injured and will not play,” Zillo told the daily.
Posada was limited to 51 games last season in which he posted an average of .268 with 22 RBIs, 18 runs scored and three homeruns.
The Yankees also opposed Posada’s participation in the inaugural WBC in 2006. The catcher did not play for his country on that occasion because he was hoping to receive a contract extension and did not want to jeopardize his chances.
Meanwhile, Enrique Cruz, a member of the organizing committee for the event in Puerto Rico, said that “what is holding back the Yankees is related to the insurance policy that covers players coming off an injury.”
“The team and the player may give their opinions, but all opinions can be appealed. We are taking the process step by step, but Jorge will be included in the initial list of 45 players that we will reveal this week,” said Cruz to AP.