Rays starter Chris Archer enjoyed watching the first three World Baseball Classics but getting to play in the next one as a member of the U.S. team will rank among the highlights of his career.
"It's an honor," he said Friday in confirming his selection. "I know not everybody gets asked, not everybody gets invited. It's been one of my dreams to do since it started in 2006.
"This is basically the Olympics of our sport. … It's all major-leaguers, it's highly competitive. I'm stoked to be a part of it and representing USA Baseball."
Archer said preparing for the March 9-11 opening-round games in Miami won't have much impact on his spring routine, requiring maybe a one-week acceleration. He will report first to Rays training camp in Port Charlotte and expects to pitch three times before leaving to join the U.S. team, for whom he likely would make at most three starts.
Archer, who played for Team USA in a 2010 Pan-Am Games qualifying tournament, said the chance to win the gold medal under manager Jim Leyland is a motivating force. "That's one thing that has really intrigued me, is the desire from everyone I have spoken to to win," he said. "Not just to go and have fun — that's part of it — but to win. Jim Leyland — he's a legend, and he's extremely passionate. … I'm really looking forward to it. It's a dream come true."
Rays closer Alex Colome has said he expects to play for the Dominican Republic team.
AROUND THE MAJORS: The Phillies acquired infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick from the Dodgers for first baseman Darin Ruf and utilityman Darnell Sweeney. … The Braves agreed to terms with right-hander Bartolo Colon, 43, a day after they reached agreement with right-hander R.A. Dickey, 42. … DH Kendrys Morales agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the Blue Jays. … Brewers manager Craig Counsell signed a three-year contract extension.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.