Baseball: Ohtani, Trout among 8 MVPs to play in WBC

Japan's Shohei Ohtani, the United States' Mike Trout and Venezuela's Jose Altuve are among eight Major League Baseball MVPs on rosters for the March 8-21 World Baseball Classic.

A record-high 67 MLB All-Stars are on the rosters announced Thursday for the tournament's fifth edition.

Of the other five MVPs, Paul Goldschmidt, Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts will play for defending champion the United States, Miguel Cabrera for Venezuela and Freddie Freeman for Canada.

Among Japan's opponents in Pool B in Tokyo, San Diego Padres shortstop Kim Ha Seong, St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman and Kiwoom Heroes outfielder Lee Jung Hoo will play for South Korea.

No MLB players are on Australia manager Dave Nilsson's roster, although he will have 11 players from America's minor leagues. Japan has made no changes to the tentative roster manager Hideki Kuriyama announced in January.

The Dominican Republic, playing in Miami's Pool D, has Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto on its roster. They are grouped with former semifinalists Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will join Altuve, Cabrera and slugging Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez with Venezuela. Puerto Rico will be without catcher Yadier Molina for the first time, but the skipper has veteran receiver Martin Maldonado and dynamic New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz.

© Kyodo News