Putz to join Wright on Team USA roster
Six other Mets to take part in second World Baseball Classic
NEW YORK -- Despite their presence throughout the inaugural World Baseball Classic, the Mets were underrepresented on the roster of Team USA. Nineteen players within the Mets' organization suited up in total, but not a single one of them for the Americans.
Three years later, that trend has reversed. Alex Rodriguez's shift to the Dominican team opened the door for David Wright to play third base for Team USA, and now, according to a "potential" roster released Friday by the team, new setup man J.J. Putz will also play for the U.S.
Putz, 31, came to the Mets last month in a three-team deal that also brought reliever Sean Green from the Mariners. And Putz arrived the same day that the Mets finalized a deal with new closer Francisco Rodriguez, who should play for Venezuela in the Classic.
As he will next season in New York, Putz, a former closer, likely will have to defer Classic closing duties to his teammates. Others relievers on Team USA's potential roster with closing experience include Jonathon Broxton of the Dodgers, Brian Fuentes of the Angels, Matt Lindstrom of the Marlins, Joe Nathan of the Twins and B.J. Ryan of the Blue Jays.
In an injury-plagued 2008, Putz saved 15 games for the Mariners after saving 76 over the previous two seasons. He did not play in the Classic in 2006.
Wright, 26, joined Team USA last month shortly after it was announced that Rodriguez, the starting third baseman for the Americans in the inaugural Classic, would instead play for the Dominican Republic. Wright will split time at the position with Classic veteran and Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.
Also confirmed for the Mets in the Classic are outfielder Carlos Beltran, first baseman Carlos Delgado and reliever Pedro Feliciano, all for the Puerto Rican team. Rodriguez and starter Johan Santana have said that they will play for Venezuela, and shortstop Jose Reyes has likewise said that he will play for the Dominican Republic.
Those six participated in the inaugural Classic in 2006.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.