Team Canada adds Dempster, Gagne

Retired pitchers will be first-time players in World Baseball Classic

Team Canada adds Dempster, Gagne

Former Major League pitchers Eric Gagne and Ryan Dempster are planning to play for Team Canada in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, according a report Saturday from Sportsnet.

Gagne and Dempster will each make his first appearance as a player in the World Baseball Classic, joining a pitching staff that includes John Axford, Adam Loewen and Nick Pivetta. 

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Gagne, 41, won the National League Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Dodgers, when he recorded 55 saves and 137 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings. His 161 saves for the Dodgers places him second to Kenley Jansen in franchise history. A three-time All-Star with the Dodgers, Gagne also pitched for the Rangers, Red Sox and Brewers. He last appeared in the Majors in '08 with Milwaukee.

Dempster, 39, last pitched in the big leagues in 2013 with the Red Sox. He was an All-Star with the Cubs in '08. Over a 16-year career as a starter, Dempster also pitched for the Marlins, Reds and Rangers.

Gagne was born in Montreal and Dempster was born in Sechelt, British Columbia.

Team Canada opens play in Pool C against defending champion Dominican Republic at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 10, at Marlins Park in Miami.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.