Longoria willing to step in for USA
Rays third baseman could replace Chipper in Classic semis
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Evan Longoria is willing to step in to help Team USA. But the Rays third baseman hasn't heard anything from his national World Baseball Classic team yet.
Chipper Jones is out of the Classic with an injury, which left Longoria in line to be a possible replacement. Additions to a team's roster cannot be made during a round, so Team USA could not add any players until they advanced to the semifinals, which they did by defeating Puerto Rico on Tuesday night.
Longoria has said he would be more than happy to go and help the team if asked.
Longoria has been fighting a virus, which prompted the Rays to scratch him from Wednesday's lineup. But he was asked about the Classic early Wednesday morning and said: "I haven't heard anything."
Rays manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that Longoria joining Team USA was a possibility.
"I'm sure it can happen," Maddon said. "It's possible, but I have not heard anything new."
When Maddon was asked if he was opposed to Longoria joining the team, he replied: "No, not at all."
Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, also said he had not heard anything.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.