Gagne withdraws from Classic
Following his head instead of his heart, Eric Gagne reluctantly pulled out of the World Baseball Classic to focus on winning a job in the Brewers bullpen.
Gagne was on the provisional roster for Team Canada and wanted to play in the tournament, but that would mean departing Maryvale Baseball Park on March 1 and missing at minimum a week of camp. Canada plays in Pool C with the U.S., Venezuela and Italy and has a decent chance to advance past the first round, which would extend Gagne’s absence even longer.
That would have complicated things for the Brewers, who have to place Gagne on the 40-man roster by March 25 or offer him free agency. Gagne discussed his options with fellow Canuck and Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, who passed along word to Canadian officials that Gagne would stay in Phoenix.
Gagne, by the way, joined the legion of Brewers to undergo Lasik surgery over the winter, so we won’t see him trying to un-fog those goggles this season. Third baseman Bill Hall and pitcher Chris Capuano underwent similar procedures, joining catcher Jason Kendall, who did it last year.
Speaking of the Classic, there’s no official word yet from Yovani Gallardo, who is on Mexico’s provisional roster but has not formally decided whether he will play. Rosters for the tournament must be finalized by Tuesday.