Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton has found a new team he is thrilled to play for -- Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
The young slugger has committed to play for the United States on a star-studded team to be announced Thursday, sources said. Stanton's addition brings major middle-of-the-order power to Team USA, which is looking for its first WBC win.
David Wright, Ryan Braun, Joe Mauer, Adam Jones and Brandon Phillips are among other big-league stars committed to play for Team USA. Manager Joe Torre, to no surprise, is proving to be a good salesman for players joining the team -- though Stanton sounded excited about the possibility last fall.
Stanton hit 37 home runs last year with 86 RBI and a .290 batting average.
Stanton has expressed his displeasure with the Marlins since their stunning blockbuster trade with Toronto signaled a rebuilding strategy only a year after taking the payroll up to over $100 million. The Marlins have steadfastly declined to trade him since he first voiced his unhappiness with the deal with the Jays that sent Jose Reyez, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Canada, though there's no evidence Stanton's unhappiness has eased.
He is, though, thrilled to represent the United States. Stanton said in September he would "absolutely'' accept if asked.
"Anything that represents your country is a big deal,'' Stanton said. "It's relatively new. To have that be more popular, or make that more important to people, is ideal.''