The Nationals will not be represented on the United States’ roster for the World Baseball Classic, which was announced this morning on MLB Network. General Manager Mike Rizzo had said he would support any player who was asked, but none chose to play.
The Nationals have two of the biggest American stars in the sport in Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. Earlier this winter, agent Scott Boras said Harper would not play so he could focus on his first full major league season. Strasburg was limited to 160 innings last in a highly controversial decision, and so sending him to pitch in what amounts to an exhibition would have been strange.
As previously reported, outfielder Roger Bernadina will play for the Netherlands, minor league catcher Adrian Nieto will play for Spain and minor league outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand will play for Canada. Catcher Jhonatan Solano played for Colombia during the qualifying stage, but the team did not make the tournament. UPDATE Jan. 23: Minor league right-hander Matthew Torra, who the Nationals signed this winter and is likely headed to AAA Syracuse next season, is on the provisional roster for Italy.