The World Baseball Classic is Commissioner Bud Selig's baby, so team executives and managers grit their teeth and smile when they discuss their players who will leave spring-training camps on March 3 to prepare for the quadrennial event.
Bruce Bochy does as much gritting as anybody, given how many Giants pitchers will play in the WBC, and he acknowledged Wednesday a "slight concern" about his five most important relievers plus starter Ryan Vogelsong playing high-level baseball in March.
Heading that list is closer Sergio Romo, who agreed to terms Wednesday on a two-year, $9 million deal that will buy out his final two arbitration-eligible seasons. Romo will get $3.5 million this year and $5.5 million next year. Romo was the Giants' last potential arbitration case.
Joining him in the WBC will be Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez and Jose Mijares.
"We know we have to get these guys ready, and that's our plan," Bochy said after speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. "We won't let them go if we don't think they're ready, particularly the pitchers.
"They'll be in good hands, where they're going. We'll get with the coaches and give them our thoughts at what we're looking at and how much they should be pitched. They've got stipulations in the WBC to protect these players, which is a good thing."
Three Giants position players will leave. Pablo Sandoval and 37-year-old Marco Scutaro will play for Venezuela, Angel Pagan for Puerto Rico.
The three most concerning Giants are Vogelsong, who had back issues last year; Romo, who is monitored constantly for elbow fatigue; and Sandoval, who is healthy but has been more like the Energizer Bunny than a panda. He followed his month of postseason ball in 2012 with a trip to winter ball.
That included all seven games of the Venezuelan championship series, for which he was named most valuable player.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Giants-clear-9-to-compete-in-WBC-4258076.php#ixzz2KE9T8muO
Giants clear 9 to compete in WBC
San Francisco Chronicle | Feb 7