Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera will represent Venezuela in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press reports. The reigning American League MVP says that he looks forward to playing for his country in the sport's marquee international event.
The event, which takes place from March 2-19 at various locations around the world, will feature 16 teams representing different countries. The 16 teams are initially separated into four pools for a group phase before the best performing teams advance.
Given that the event overlaps with the Tigers' spring training, Cabrera will be absent for a decent portion of Detroit's spring schedule. The club will simply have to make do without one of its best players as it prepares for the upcoming season, though he'll be back for a couple weeks before Opening Day actually arrives.
Team Venezuela is getting a boost from Cabrera's presence, but it won't be adding another Tigers slugger in the form of Victor Martinez, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports. Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski says that Martinez will be skipping the Classic.