Asdrubal to play for Venezuela in Classic

Asdrubal to play for Venezuela in Classic

NEW YORK -- Fresh off one of the best seasons of his career, Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is set to represent his native Venezuela in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

According to a person familiar with the roster, Cabrera will participate in the event, which begins March 6 in Seoul, South Korea. Venezuela's first game is scheduled for March 10 in Jalisco, Mexico.

Cabrera is likely to be the most prominent Mets player attending the tournament; starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, a leading candidate to play for Team USA, recently declined his invitation. The WBC has not yet released official rosters for the event, which features teams from the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Cabrera, 31, hit .280 with 23 home runs and a career-high .810 OPS for the Mets in 2016, appearing in 141 games despite a chronic left knee injury. The club announced after the season that Cabrera would not require surgery on his knee. He projects to be New York's starting shortstop again in '17.

This will be the second career WBC appearance for Cabrera, who played in all three of Venezuela's games in 2013, batting .125 with a .364 on-base percentage. That roster featured a cadre of talented hitters, including Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Gonzalez, Elvis Andrus and others. But Venezuela lost two of its three games in a difficult pool that included the tournament's eventual champions, Team Dominican Republic, and runner-up Puerto Rico.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.