The names of eleven confirmed position players for Team USA’s 2017 World Baseball Classic roster were reported by Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, and the closest thing to a Mets representative so far is Daniel Murphy.
The rest of the roster so far consists of Buster Posey, Jonathan Lucroy, Eric Hosmer, Paul Goldschmidt, Ian Kinsler, Nolan Arenado, Carl Crawford, Christian Yelich, Adam Jones, and Andrew McCutchen. It’s a star-studded lineup, with two former league MVPs and seven of the others having finished in the top seven in voting for the award at some point during their careers.
Still, it’s worth asking if the U.S. could have recruited superior outfield talent. Once one of the league’s top leadoff hitters, Crawford has not been an elite player since his last year in Tampa in 2010, and he hasn’t been productive since 2014. He finished last season with an .185 average in 81 at-bats. The Pirates have shopped McCutchen, the 2013 National League MVP, this offseason after he had the worst season of his big league career.
As for current Mets, Curtis Granderson, who hit 30 home runs last season and represented Team USA at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, would certainly have been an improvement over at least Crawford.
Team USA won’t finalize its roster until January, and Granderson or another Mets player could be added when that final list is released. But when Team USA submitted a preliminary list of players in November, Noah Syndergaard—who later said he would not pitch in the tournament—was the only Met included. It is quite possible that, like Syndergaard, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout, Granderson and other Mets turned down an opportunity play.