The roster for Team Israel in the upcoming 2017 World Baseball Classic has been announced, in part. Fifteen players have confirmed with the rest to be finalized at a later date. Israel will travel to Seoul, South Korea to take on Korea, the Netherlands, and Chinese Taipei.
The players that have been confirmed are:
• Ty Kelly, IF, New York Mets
• Sam Fuld, OF, Oakland Athletics – free agent
• Jason Marquis, P, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds – free agent
• Ike Davis, 1B, formerly of the NY Mets and Yankees – free agent
• Ryan Lavarnway, C, Oakland Athletics
• Cody Decker, IF, Milwaukee Brewers
• Josh Zeid, P, formerly of the Houston Astros – free agent
• Nate Freiman, 1B, Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox) – free agent
• Tyler Krieger, IF, Lynchberg Hillcats (Cleveland Indians)
• Nick Rickles, C, Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals)
• Dean Kremer, P, Great Lakes Loons (LA Dodgers)
• Corey Baker, P, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)
• Jeremy Bleich, P, Reading Fightin Phils (Philadelphia Phillies)
• Jake Kalish, P, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals)
• Alex Katz, P, Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox)
The team is pursuing other big leaguers according to Scott Barancik at Jewish Baseball News. Those players include Danny Valencia, Craig Breslow, Joc Pederson, and Jason Kipnis. Several others have already declined an invitation.
Per WBC rules, any athlete can play for Team Israel as long as they are eligible for an Israeli citizenship. This is accomplished by either marrying someone Jewish or having at least one Jewish grandparent.
This is Israel’s first time to play in the main tournament. They open up the WBC against South Korea on March 6 in Seoul.