Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig expressed interest Tuesday in playing for Team Mexico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Puig, a Cuban native, holds a Mexican passport, acquired when he established residency in Mexico after defecting from Cuba in 2012, and said on MLB Network's "MLB Tonight" that he would like to play for Team Mexico to show his gratitude.
Puig is in his fourth season with the Dodgers, whose season will be on the line Thursday when they play the Nationals in Game 5 of the National League Division Series (8 p.m. ET, 5 PT on FS1).
"It's the reason I'm here right now," Puig said of Mexico's importance to his career. "I signed in Mexico with the Dodgers and now I'm here and now I'd like to play with Mexico in the World Baseball Classic."
Cuba will not allow Major Leaguers or any player who has defected to play for Cuba in next year's tournament.
Mexico manager Edgar Gonzalez said he'd love to have Puig on his roster. Several other Major Leaguers who also might be eligible to play for Team Mexico, Gonzalez told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, include Rangers pitcher Matt Bush, A's outfielder Khris Davis, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, Nationals shortstop Danny Espinosa and Marlins pitcher A.J. Ramos.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.