OAKLAND -- The A's will be well represented in the World Baseball Classic, with five members of their active roster playing for as many countries. In addition, four of their Minor Leaguers are also set to participate in the tournament.
Pitchers Sonny Gray (USA), John Axford (Canada), Liam Hendriks (Australia) and Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic), and outfielder Khris Davis (Mexico) are confirmed on their respective rosters, which were made official Wednesday. They will report to Spring Training with the A's next week, before joining their national teams in early March.
Minor League catcher Ryan Lavarnway and right-hander Joey Wagman are representing Israel, with right-hander Jake Sanchez joining Davis on Team Mexico and righty Cesar Valdez on the Dominican roster.
• World Baseball Classic tickets
• Rules for 2017 WBC
The World Baseball Classic runs from March 6-22. In the U.S., games will air live exclusively in English on MLB Network and on an authenticated basis via MLBNetwork.com/watch, while ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will provide the exclusive Spanish-language coverage. MLB.TV Premium subscribers in the U.S. will have access to watch every tournament game live on any of the streaming service's 400-plus supported devices. Internationally, the tournament will be distributed across all forms of television, internet, mobile and radio in territories excluding the U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan. Get tickets for games at Marlins Park, Tokyo Dome, Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, Estadio Charros de Jalisco in Mexico, Petco Park, as well as the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, while complete coverage -- including schedules, video, stats and gear -- is available at WorldBaseballClassic.com.
The participation of Gray, Hendriks and Valdez could be affected by a long-anticipated rule change that went into effect last month. Each team has the option of using the designated pitcher pool (DPP), which works like this: A team can use up to 10 designated pitchers but can't have more than two on its active roster at a time. Those "active" DPs can be replaced at the beginning of each of the next two rounds, but only by another DP. Once a DP has been replaced, he cannot return to the active roster for a subsequent round.
Using Team USA as an example, Danny Duffy and Tanner Roark are the active DPs for the first round of pool play, so they can be replaced on the roster before the second round or the championship round, but only by one of the team's other DPs. And if a DP joins for the second round, he can be replaced for the championship round, but only by another DP.
The rule change allows Gray (DP), Hendriks (active DP), Valdez (DP) and others to enter World Baseball Classic competition without leaving their team for multiple weeks during Spring Training.
Hendriks, Axford and Casilla have experience playing in the tournament, having participated in the World Baseball Classic four years ago.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.