Reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and former MVPs Ryan Braun, Jimmy Rollins and Joe Mauer headline the United States' provisional roster for this spring's World Baseball Classic.
Dickey, the knuckleballer who won the Cy Young in 2012 with the New York Mets and was traded to Toronto last month, headlines an American starting pitching staff that also includes Ryan Vogelsong of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, Atlanta's Kris Medlen and Derek Holland of Texas.
Other pitchers on the staff will include closers Heath Bell of Arizona and Craig Kimbrel of Atlanta, as well as Cleveland's Chris Perez and Vinnie Pestano, Luke Gregerson of San Diego, Glen Perkins of the Twins, Miami's Steve Cishek, Tim Collins of Kansas City, Mitchell Boggs of St. Louis and Jeremy Affeldt of San Francisco.
Braun, the 2011 NL MVP from Milwaukee, will be joined in the U.S. outfield by All-Stars Adam Jones of Baltimore, Giancarlo Stanton of Miami and Shane Victorino, now with Boston.
Rollins, NL MVP with Philadelphia in 2007, is the top shortstop for the U.S. team and could headline a possible starting infield consisting of first baseman Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips and third baseman David Wright of the Mets.
Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist and Arizona's Willie Bloomquist will allow American manager Joe Torre some flexibility as both can play in the outfield and infield.
Mauer, the 2009 AL MVP from Minnesota, will head a catching trio that also features Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy and Toronto's J.P. Arencibia.
"Having talked to all of these players, I sense a great deal of excitement about representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic," said Torre. "I share their excitement and look forward to managing this talented group in March."
The team will start training in Scottsdale, Ariz. on March 1 and will begin round-robin play in Pool D against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 8. Canada and Italy are the other teams in the United States' bracket.
Team USA has not placed higher than fourth in the WBC, finishing sixth in the inaugural event in 2006 and fourth in 2009.