The Yanks have 13 players playing in the WBC. Jeter, Cano, A-Rod, Marte, Melky Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Alfredo Aceves, Kai Liu, Edwar Ramirez, Jahdiel Santamaria, Jorge Vasquez, Jose Veras, and Zhenwang Zhang will all play in the Worl Baseball Classic.
I think the WBC is a fun event and is a great way to have international baseball pride, but having it right before the season starts just seems stupid to me. Players don't get to go through the routine their managers want them too, they have to play in big pressure situations before April, and it just seems like a bad idea for players' health. Since the season is so long, I know that it is hard to find another time to have the tournament, but I have one idea...
Move the WBC to right after the playoffs. The season ends at the end of September/beginning of October, and then there are 3 weeks of playoffs. I don't know the exact schedules of the leagues in other countries, but I imagine they would be similar. Lots of players already play fall ball in the Arizona Fall League or in the Dominican Republic, so why not add a few more and make it an international competition. As the playoffs start non-major league players and players who are on teams that didn't make the playoffs could report to their national camp and start working out. Some players will have to play in the playoffs, but start the competition a week after the World Series ends. Perhaps, if the MVPs, Cy Youngs, and Rookies of the Year are in the competition, then Bud Selig could present them with their awards in front of a crowd of their countrymen at a packed stadium rather than at a press conference that fans don't usually attend. This seems like the best solution to me.
I know that most players are tired after a full season, but then should just choose not to play. Players can choose not to play in the spring, but after a full season a player has a better sense for how their body is physically. If a player were injured in the fall, they'd have the whole winter to recover rather than entering the season hurt. Also, I bet the Japanese teams would love this, because if their players played well in the WBC, then they would be fresh on the minds of scouts and would likely garner higher posting bids. Free agents could use the competition to re-establish their value if they had been injured at the beginning of the season. This is just an idea, but I think that seeing tired players play is definitely better than seeing players who aren't ready for the season play and be afraid to challenge themselves because they aren't yet at their potential. This would also allow players who change teams during the offseason to report to their team's camp, without feeling as if they are letting down their country.
That's just my opinion though. Let's hear your thoughts in the comments.