Update: Yankees will recoup insurance money for Teixeira’s salary

5:41pm: Conflicting reports! Bryan Hoch says the WBC is not on the hook for Teixeira’s salary since the Yankees activated him off the DL. The team will, however, recoup some insurance money while he’s hurt. Either way, someone other than the Yankees are paying part of Teixeira’s salary while he is injured. So there.

12:30pm: Via David Waldstein: The World Baseball Classic is indeed responsible for Mark Teixeira‘s salary during his current DL stint because he went back on the shelf with the same injury. Ken Rosenthal originally reported that would be the case in March, but there was some confusion after the Yankees activated the first baseman off the DL.

Teixeira, 33, is still feeling discomfort in his right wrist after receiving a cortisone shot last week. Even if he doesn’t need season-ending surgery, it seems clear he isn’t particularly close to returning right now. Teixeira earns close to $140k per game, so the Yankees are saving a ton of money due to the injury. They reinvested the portion they saved during his first DL trip on Vernon Wells, so hopefully they make a better move with the savings if he is indeed out long-term. If Tex misses the rest of the year, the Yankees are going to have something like $12.5M extra to play around with at the deadline. That’s huge.

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Report(s): WBC covers salary of injured players

Via Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal: The World Baseball Classic is responsible for salary paid to players injured during the tournament while they are on the DL. The player must miss at least 30 days for coverage to kick in, and the WBC is also responsible if the player gets re-injured after returning.

For the Yankees, this applies to Mark Teixeira. He earns approximately $3.75M per month and is expected to be out until late-May/early-June, so that’s $7.5M the Yankees won’t have to pay their first baseman. Given the propensity for wrist injuries to linger, he could be out even longer and save the team even more. I assume this won’t impact the luxury tax in any way, kinda like regular insurance. It’s a reimbursement, not a salary reduction. The WBC savings probably contributed to the team’s decision to acquire Vernon Wells — I think part of that money was their rainy day/trade deadline fund — but that still doesn’t make it a good idea.

Dominican Republic wins 2013 WBC, Cano named MVP

The Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico to win the 2013 World Baseball Classic tonight, going a perfect 8-0 in the tournament. They’re the first team to go undefeated in the event.

Robinson Cano was named MVP of the WBC after going 15-for-32 (.469) with four doubles and two homers in the eight games. He’ll rejoin the Yankees in the next day or two for the rest of Spring Training. Congrats to him and his fellow countrymen. They completely dominated the tournament.

Melky Mesa withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Via Chad Jennings: Melky Mesa has informed the Yankees he will skip the World Baseball Classic. He made the decision on his own and wasn’t asked by the team to skip the event. A little more than a week ago we heard the outfielder was planning to suit up for the Dominican Republic.

Mesa, 26, is 4-for-15 (.267) with two homers and two steals in Spring Training so far. He has a decent chance of making the big league team thanks to Curtis Granderson‘s fractured forearm, so it seems like a wise move on his part to skip the tournament and remain with the Yankees. It’ll be difficult to beat out veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, but Mesa is the most well-rounded player in the outfield competition thanks to his power, speed, defense, and throwing arm. I ranked him 26th on my preseason top 30 prospects list.

Update: Mesa, Cedeno, Velazquez, Ibarra, and Venditte will play in WBC

5:57pm: Infielder Walt Ibarra (Mexico) and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (Italy) will also play in the tournament according to Wally Matthews. Guess this means Venditte’s right shoulder is healthy following labrum surgery.

5:30pm: Via Dan Barbarisi: Outfielder Melky Mesa, left-hander Juan Cedeno, and infielder Gil Velazquez will all participate in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Velazquez will play for Team Mexico while the other two will suit up for Team Dominican Republic.

The 33-year-old Velazquez and 29-year-old Cedeno are expected to serve as depth pieces with Triple-A Scranton this summer. Mesa, 26, has an outside chance of making the big league team as the right-handed hitting outfield bench bat with a strong spring, though this might be a once in a lifetime thing for him. The Dominican Republic’s outfield has been decimated by declined invites (Melky Cabrera and Carlos Gomez, specifically), so Mesa might be their everyday center fielder. I don’t blame him for going, and there’s a good chance we’ll see him in the Bronx at some point this summer anyway. He should be the first outfielder recalled when injury strikes.

Cervelli withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Via Chad Jennings: Frankie Cervelli confirmed that he was withdrawn from the World Baseball Classic. He was scheduled to play for Team Italy.

Cervelli, 27 next month, will compete with Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, and I suppose Bobby Wilson for one of the team’s two catching spots. So yeah, it was a very smart decision on his part to remain with the club in camp so he can do as much as possible to impress the decision makers. Cervelli apparently has a minor league option left and I doubt he wants to return to Triple-A.

Rosenthal: Pettitte will not pitch in World Baseball Classic

Via Ken Rosenthal: Andy Pettitte will not pitch for former manager Joe Torre and Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He had until February 20th to make his final decision.

As I’ve said before, I’m glad Pettitte will remain with the Yankees in Spring Training even though it would have been neat to see him pitch in the WBC. Rosenthal says there’s a chance Justin Verlander will join the squad — Kris Medlen recently withdrew from the event as well — which would be a pretty huge for Team USA. Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Frankie Cervelli as the only Yankees who will participate in the tournament.