The 2017 World Baseball Classic is coming up this Spring, and as usual we’ve got a litany of big names either committing to or backing out of participating in baseball’s premier international tournament. Also, there are players who can use the relatively lax rules surrounding eligibility to choose which teams they can play for, so there’s a bit of recruiting going on as well.
One of the players who falls into the category of having a choice of teams to play for is our very own Freddie Freeman. Despite the fact that he was born in California, Freeman’s parents were born in Canada and that means that he’s eligible to play for Canada. As such, Baseball Canada is reportedly making a push to bring him into their fold for the WBC.
Freeman has a history of playing for the United States in international tournaments, but he’s made it known in the past that he would love to play for Canada in order to honor his late mother. Now that he’s coming off of a career year in which he distinguished himself as an elite first baseman, he’s become a very attractive candidate to join the squad.
In the past, Canadian teams at the WBC were well-represented at the first baseman position, what with Joey Votto being Joey Votto and all. They also had Justin Morneau on the team as well, which means that they were very stacked at that position and had no room for a guy like the 2012 1.7 fWAR version of Freddie Freeman — even if he’d go on to post 5.0 fWAR in 2013, but hindsight is 20/20 and worth endless amounts of Wins Above Replacement, so there’s that.
However, a lot can change and has indeed changed in four years and now you can imagine that they’d take Freeman in a heartbeat for the 2017 squad. If Freeman still feels the same way about representing Canada that he reportedly felt a year ago, then the feeling is probably mutual on both ends. There’s a very good chance that we’ll probably be seeing Freddie Freeman donning a red-and-white uniform with a maple leaf on it once March comes around.