It came as a surprise, but earlier this week we got word that Jorge Posada plans to play in the WBC. As many commenters noted, the Yankees would probably rather have him in camp working with the new pitchers. That, and he’s coming off pretty major shoulder surgery. Because Posada ended the season on the DL, the Yanks have the right to deny his entry into the tournament. According to Bryan Hoch’s latest, it appears that they’ll do just that.
“I am sure he would love to play [in the World Baseball Classic], but he is currently rehabbing from surgery and would not be ready,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
There’s no direct quote, but Hoch says that Jason Zillo confirmed the team’s stance. It’s understandable. The WBC is a luxury. It’s a nice little event we have every few years, and it’s somewhat enjoyable to some fans (yeah, I’m hedging here). What’s more important is Jorge’s ability to play for the Yankees. He signed a huge contract after the 2007 season, and after year one he hasn’t lived up to it. I would think that fulfilling his obligation to the Yankees would be more important to him than a — I don’t want to say meaningless, but — meaningless tournament.
Jorge is an integral part of the 2009 club. There’s no sense in risking his health by having him play in the WBC. If he just DHs, maybe, just maybe I can see the argument for allowing him to play. But even then, he’s got to get to know the new guys. And Joba.