Spring training camps open next week and, soon after that, many players will leave their teams to begin preparations for the World Baseball Classic. The WBC returns this spring after a two-year pandemic-related hiatus. The tournament begins March 8 and the championship game will be played March 21, though each country will have several workouts before their first game.
Among those who will participate in this year's WBC: Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani. He will suit up for Japan, and, on Saturday, Angels GM Perry Minasian confirmed Ohtani will go to the WBC with zero restrictions. Ohtani's usage will be entirely up to him and the Japanese team's decision-makers. From the Associated Press:
Whatever Ohtani wants to do in the tournament is entirely up him and the Japanese team, since the Angels will stick to their long-standing policy of allowing him to do whatever he feels is best for his growth on his unique career path.
"I am not worried about Shohei Ohtani," Minasian said. "He's been in Arizona for a while now. He's preparing for the season. He's doing everything he needs to do to be ready to go when the bell rings. He'll get the proper work in when he needs it. He's the least of my concerns."