Today’s Q&A is about the World Baseball Classic’s roster rules, you can see it after doing the jump:
How big are the rosters for the WBC?
A World Baseball Classic team can have 28 active players, of which at least 13 must be pitchers and at least two must be catchers.
What if somebody gets hurt?
They can be replaced, but the player who is inactivated is then out for the rest of the tournament.
Okay, so what about the whole eligibility rules? Why are there Americans on Team Italy and Venezuelans on Team Spain, and such?
Well, in order to somewhat even the odds a bit, and to provide the chance for some players to play if they want to if they aren’t selected by their usual country. Here’s what the official WBC site has to say about when a player is eligible:
- The player is a citizen of the Federation Team’s country or territory, as evidenced by a valid passport the player holds as of January 1, 2013; or
- The player is currently a permanent legal resident of the Federation Team’s country or territory, as evidenced by documentation satisfactory to WBCI and the International Baseball Federation (“IBAF”), or
- The player was born in the Federation Team’s country or territory, as evidenced by a birth certificate or its equivalent; or
- The player has one parent who is, or if deceased was, a citizen of the Federation Team’s country or territory, as evidenced by a passport or other documentation satisfactory to WBCI and the IBAF; or
- The player has one parent who was born in the Federation Team’s country or territory, as evidenced by a birth certificate or its equivalent; or
- The player presents documentary evidence satisfactory to WBCI that, even if he has not been granted citizenship or been issued a passport, the player would be granted citizenship or a passport in due course under the laws of the Federation Team’s country or territory had the player applied for such citizenship or passport.
So, in essence, a player is eligible if they are a citizen of a country, they were born in a country (which in some countries automatically makes them a citizen), they have lived in that country for a long time, their parents were either born or are a citizen of that country, or they would be able to get citizenship or a passport if they applied for it (this varies by country).
Are there any eligibility rules for managers, coaches, etc.?
No, anybody can manage or coach a team, and in fact several countries in the WBC are being managed and/or coached by people from other countries.
What if a player is eligible for more than one country?
Than they can choose who they play for.
If a player plays for a country in one WBC, can he play for a different one in another?
Yes. Alex Rodriguez, for example, infamously played for Team USA in the 2006 WBC but was going to play for the Dominican in 2009 (he ended up not playing due to injury).
Can a MLB team keep a player from playing in the WBC?
Officially, they can only do this if the player is coming off a injury or had some other type of surgery. Unofficially, though, they can heavily suggest things, although players can ignore them if they want or come up with some sort of deal.
What’s keeping a team from, say, getting raided of it’s entire roster?
Well, there is a rule in the WBC on the number of players a given team has to give up. It’s set at 14 in the organization or 10 from it’s active roster, although this can be waived if a club gives it’s permission (the Brewers, for example, apparently have more than that playing).
This weekend: Miscellaneous questions on the WBC