2017 World Baseball Classic: Canada's roster is starting to get pretty crazy
Ryan Dempster? Eric Gagne? Russell Martin at shortstop? Oh, Canada
The 2017 World Baseball Classic is a little over a month away from starting. As such, teams are doing their best to assemble their final rosters. That includes the Canadian team, who will apparently employ a pair of old All-Star pitchers.
Who might those All-Star pitchers be -- would you believe Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne? You should, according to Shi Davidi:
Ryan Dempster and Eric Gagne planning to pitch for Canada at World Baseball Classic— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) January 14, 2017
The most noteworthy aspect of Dempster and Gagne's inclusion would be, well, their inclusion. Dempster is the more recent retiree, having pitched in the majors last in 2013. Gagne, meanwhile, hasn't thrown a big-league pitch since 2008. Neither was too effective last we saw of them, and -- at ages 39 and 41 -- it's unlikely either will channel their old selves.
Still, at least Canada's WBC team will have some added name-brand appeal on its side -- even if that doesn't help the quality of their pitching staff.
Russell Martin expected to play SS for Canada at WBC: "You go ahead and put me wherever you want" #BlueJays— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 14, 2017
Martin has played 96 1/3 innings at third base and seven innings at second base in his major-league career, but his only exposure at shortstop came in one game as a 19-year-old in rookie ball way back in 2002.
Canada is shaping up as the team everyone's going to want to watch in this year's World Baseball Classic, one way or another.