Team USA added 27 names Thursday to its provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic. But the absence of one prominent name loomed large.
Andy Pettitte was left off the roster despite news reports that he already had committed to playing for former manager Joe Torre. The circumstances leading to Pettitte's omission remain unclear, though a source indicated Thursday that the 40-year-old lefthander had been undecided about playing despite reports indicating that he had committed.
Said the source: "I think his name was out there before he was sure.''
According to several published reports, Pettitte still could be added to the roster because there is one more roster opening, which Torre is believed to have reserved for the veteran lefty. Final tournament rosters don't have to be submitted until Feb. 20.
Team USA plays its first game against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 8.
Concerns about the injury risks for participating players have been a constant since the inception of the event in 2006. Players who are invited ultimately decide whether they will participate.
"I'm just so excited to be a part of this year's team,'' Teixeira told the MLB Network after the official announcement.
Mets lefthander Johan Santana expressed interest in participating. He is ineligible by rule, however, because he was shut down due to fatigue and other nagging injuries at the end of last season, his first since undergoing major shoulder surgery.
"But it's encouraging, I think, that he feels he can,'' general manager Sandy Alderson told WFAN. "And that he wants to, and has that motivation.''