The 2021 World Baseball Classic isn't scheduled to begin until March 9, 2021, but that hasn't stopped current MLB stars from looking forward to the games.
In the absence of spring training—and with Opening Day 2020 postponed for the foreseeable future—players have had plenty of time on their hands. On Thursday, many of them took to social media to advocate for the formation of a Team USA "Dream Team" to defend the title at the 2021 WBC.
Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman first put out a call on Instagram to Eric Hosmer and Christian Yelich, who were teammates from the 2017 championship team. After receiving online commitments from them, Stroman took to Twitter to recruit other notable Major Leaguers, including Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge.
Stroman's call to action elicited plenty of response among the league's biggest names, with players pledging their commitment to joining the team should the be given the opportunity.
Team USA won the 2017 title, beating Puerto Rico in the final, 8-0. Stroman, who was named the event's Most Valuable Player, was the winning pitcher in the game, tossing six innings with no runs and one hit allowed. Stroman spent time with the Mets and Blue Jays in 2019, posting a 10-13 record with a 3.22 ERA in 32 starts and making his first All-Star team.
The 2021 World Baseball Classic will expand the field from 16 to 20 teams, with games being held in Taiwan, Japan and the United States.