Two pitchers, left-hander Barry Zito and right-hander Esteban Loiaza, has already signed up for the World Baseball Classic, but Oakland Athletics’ owner Lewis Wolff doesn’t see it as a problem. Although these two players are a big investment for the A’s, Wolff said, “This tournament is a big investment for the future of baseball.”
The A’s also mentioned that they didn’t shop Zito at the winter meetings, but they did listen to teams that desired the top left-hander.” Teams expressed interest and told us what kind of names they’d be willing to part with,” said assistant GM David Forst, repeated that, “We’re OK keeping Barry.”
As for Seattle Mariners, although final decision has not been made, probably need to wait until next week, World Baseball Classic officials are expected to uphold the Mariners’ objection and prohibit star teenager Felix Hernandez from play in this tournament, according to Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Hernandez’s case will be presented to representatives of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, as well as Roland Betts, member of the World Baseball Classic committee.
President Chuck Armstrong said at winter meetings that Hernandez, a Venezuelan, was the only player “we really have an objection in on.”
“Our belief is that he’s too young,” Armstrong said then. “With his age, when you’re playing for your flag, it creates a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion. He just needs to get prepared for this season.
“If he was older, we wouldn’t have this same risk.” It’s based on concerns over Hernandez’s right (throwing) shoulder. He did not start for six weeks this season because of bursitis.