WASHINGTON — The Nationals will have two players represent Team USA in the fourth edition of the World Baseball Classic, which is slated to begin in early March 2017.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy said he will join teammate pitcher Max Scherzer, who threw his hat into the ring earlier this year. MLB.com first reported Murphy’s decision.
Murphy, who finished second in the National League Most Valuable Player award voting, just completed his first season with Washington.
The former Met made the National League All-Star team and finished second in the race for the batting title to the Rockies’ D.J. LeMahieu by just a point, after a late season leg injury slowed him late in the regular season.
The injury, which team trainers said could resurface again, makes Murphy’s decision to play in the tournament a curious one. But Murphy, who turns 33 on April Fool’s Day, may feel like his stock and age is the perfect match right now to try his hand at international baseball again.
Nationals reliever Oliver Perez will play in the World Baseball Classic for Team Mexico. The lefty is the only other Nationals player to officially commit to the tournament.
The World Baseball Classic is a 16-team tournament played in six venues around the world every four years. It showcases the world’s best baseball players, who play for the country of their origin (or their families’ origin) or who qualify to play via other criteria.