The Red Sox will have 12 major- and minor-leaguers representing their respective countries/territories in the 2023 World Baseball Classic, which gets underway next month.
Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Masataka Yoshida (Japan), Enrique Hernandez (Puerto Rico), Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran (Mexico), Nick Pivetta (Canada), Richard Bleier (Israel) and Kenley Jansen (Netherlands) make up 20 percent of Boston’s current 40-man roster.
Jansen, who signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Red Sox in December, is on Netherlands’ roster but only as a member of their designated pitcher pool, meaning the veteran reliever will not be eligible to join the team during pool play.
Ceddanne Rafaela, one of the top prospects in Boston’s farm system, was expected to play for the Netherlands, but the 22-year-old out of Curacao was instead omitted from the team’s final roster.
Trevor Story originally committed to play for the United States last July but took himself out of consideration for a roster spot by undergoing an internal bracing procedure on his right elbow last month. As a result, the Red Sox have no representation on Team USA. It should be noted that while both Verdugo and Duran were born in the United States, they are of Mexican-American descent.
Turning to the minor-league side of things, Jorge Alfaro and Rio Gomez will both play for Colombia. Alfaro signed a minors pact with the Red Sox last month and received an invite to big-league spring training. Gomez, on the other hand has been in the organization since being taken in the 36th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of the University of Arizona.
Edwin Diaz will join Hernandez in representing Puerto Rico after signing a minor-league deal with Boston in January. The 27-year-old infielder had been playing for Puerto Rico in the Caribbean Series before they were eliminated by Mexico on Wednesday.
Norwith Gudino is the Sox’ lone representative from Venezuela. The 27-year-old right-hander inked a minor-league contract with the Red Sox in December and — in similar fashion to Jansen — is part of his country’s player pool.
The 2023 World Baseball Classic begins on March 8. Pool play runs through March 15 and the quarterfinals take place from March 15-18. The semifinals run from March 19-20 and the championship game will be held at loanDepot Park in Miami on March 21.
Before that all happens, the Red Sox will take on Puerto Rico in an exhibition game at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers on March 8. Team Puerto Rico will also train at the Fenway South complex prior to the start of the tournament.