Red Sox have bevy of stars in next WBC

Red Sox have bevy of stars in next WBC

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox could be well-represented in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts is a confirmed participant for the Netherlands, it was announced Monday. Hanley Ramirez revealed a few days ago that he plans on playing for the Dominican Republic, though an official confirmation has not reached the Red Sox yet.

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Right fielder Mookie Betts, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and lefty David Price are all on the preliminary roster for Team USA.

Rick Porcello, fresh off winning the American League Cy Young Award, declined his invitation to participate.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and catcher Sandy Leon have been invited to play for Venezuela.

"We're certainly not going to stand in the way of a player that chooses to play and wants to play for their countries," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I will say this: There is always some concern with the intensity of games at that time of the year. That's why we're doing everything we can in the interim to ramp them up to get them close to -- it's not going to be midseason form -- but get them in game shape as best we can before they depart for their tournament."

Andrew Benintendi has the option of playing for Italy, but he's more likely to prioritize having a full Major League Spring Training for the first time.

This year's WBC begins March 6, and games will be played in Guadalajara, Mexico; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Miami; and San Diego, with the championship round taking place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles from March 20-22.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.