Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and All-Star right fielder Carlos Beltran, who will perform for their native Puerto Rico, are two of 32 players who already have committed to playing in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Both Molina and Beltran have participated for Puerto Rico in the two previous WBC tournaments, which are conducted over a nearly three-week span after spring training has started and before it is completed.

Perhaps more curious, Cardinals lefthander Jaime Garcia, sidelined during the postseason with a torn labrum in his shoulder after missing some two months of the season earlier with the same ailment, is listed as signing to play for his native Mexico.

His availability would seem doubtful although Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said that Garcia's interest in pitching in the WBC was a good sign. Relatively speaking.

"I'm encouraged that physically he can compete," Mozeliak said Monday night at baseball's winter meetings. "In terms of making that final decision ... that is something we will speak to him and his agent about. But, right now, I think it's very positive news.

"If somebody has a clean bill of health, we should encourage them to participate and play. When someone has missed significant time, like Jaime has, that will take a different reflection and we'll have to make a decision on how we want to see that happen."