Jose Ramirez wants to play in the World Baseball Classic next season.
The World Baseball Classic is the answer to the World Cup but for baseball. The event started in 2006, and a single three-year interval, the event was moved to every four years starting after the 2009 WBC. The event happens in March of that given year, and next year is no different, with the 2023 games starting on March 8.
Since then, the biggest names in baseball have participated in the event, even at the risk of missing out on spring training. This is where issues come into play. If a player had a down year prior to the WBC or is coming off rehab, clubs don’t often like their players to play in the WBC.
That’s what the Cleveland Guardians and Jose Ramirez are dealing with at the moment. Ramirez is coming off of offseason surgery on his thumb, and despite the Dominican Republic wanting Ramirez to play, Guardians head honcho Chris Antonetti has his hesitations. Antonetti revealed to Cleveland.com (via Covering the Bases) that it’ll all come down to how he’s rehabbed so far.
"Josey really wants to play and certainly appreciates the honor that it is to be asked to participate in the WBC. It’s important to him, but we also recognize that there’s a little bit of uncertainty about the timing of his rehab schedule.So, we’ll have to see how he’s doing with the rehab and what the timing looks like before we make any decisions around that. But I’m confident if José had a normal offseason and didn’t have surgery, I think he’d be playing in the WBC."
Jose Ramirez could hinder his season with the Cleveland Guardians by playing in the World Baseball Classic
I like the WBC and would love to see as many Guardians as possible play in the games. The league needs to grow internationally and the hope is that by growing the league, clubs like the Guardians can open up money veins in other areas. Tapping them for some much-needed cash infusion. Yet, the MLB isn’t really achieving that as of yet. Not like, say, the NBA.
So getting as many stars in the WBC is helpful for not only the league but teams, and in the usual situations, I’d be all for Ramirez playing in the WBC for the Dominican Republic, but his thumb has to heal. This season is too important to risk reinjuring his thumb. He declined hard mid-season after his thumb got injured, and clearly, it affected him. With the money being invested into the club this offseason, Ramirez falling off again would be disastrous, or even worse, losing him for a prolonged stretch.
The next WBC is supposed to be in 2027, assuming no global pandemics or labor issues delay it like in 2021 and 2022, Ramirez should be able to play in that one. He’ll only be 34, so it’s not like he’ll be too old to participate.