UPDATED: Zobrist on Team USA roster for WBC
UPDATE, 5:47: Zobrist said playing for Team USA in the WBC was on his baseball bucket list and he is thrilled by the opportunity.
"Obviously, it's an incredible honor,'' he said. "For me it's one of my career goals, my career dreams to play for Team USA in the WBC."
He is looking forward to talking with some his new teammates, and the opportunity to play in a playoff style atmosphere in March.
Not as excited, though, about the possibility of facing Rays teammate Fernando Rodney, who will be pitching for the Dominican Republic team:
"I wouldn't be looking forward to that.''
DEVELOPING: Rays INF/OF Ben Zobrist was named to the Team USA roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Zobrist was listed as a utility player on the roster revealed Thursday morning, which makes sense given his versatility. MLB Network projected him as the starting rightfielder, but Miami's Giancarlo Stanton is more likely. The Reds' Brandon Phillips looks like the starting second baseman.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney is expected to be named to the Dominican Republic team.
Zobrist would have to leave the Rays to join a Team USA training camp that will convene March 1 in Arizona. Team USA opens play in Phoenix on March 8, and if it makes the finals the tournament could continue through the March 19 finals in San Francisco.
Team USA will be managed by Joe Torre.
Here is the provisional roster, with one more starting pitcher to be added by the Feb. 20 deadline:
Jeremy Affeldt - San Francisco Giants
Heath Bell - Arizona Diamondbacks
Mitchell Boggs - St. Louis Cardinals
Steve Cishek - Miami Marlins
Tim Collins - Kansas City Royals
R.A. Dickey - Toronto Blue Jays
Luke Gregerson - San Diego Padres
Derek Holland - Texas Rangers
Craig Kimbrel - Atlanta Braves
Kris Medlen - Atlanta Braves
Chris Perez - Cleveland Indians
Glen Perkins - Minnesota Twins
Vinnie Pestano - Cleveland Indians
Ryan Vogelsong - San Francisco Giants
J.P. Arencibia - Toronto Blue Jays
Jonathan Lucroy - Milwaukee Brewers
Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins
Willie Bloomquist - Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
Adam Jones - Baltimore Orioles
Brandon Phillips - Cincinnati Reds
Jimmy Rollins - Philadelphia Phillies
Giancarlo Stanton - Miami Marlins
Mark Teixeira - New York Yankees
Shane Victorino - Boston Red Sox
David Wright - New York Mets
Ben Zobrist - Tampa Bay Rays