Astros outfielder George Springer has decided he won’t play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, a team spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.
Springer is eligible to play for the United States or Puerto Rico, the birthplace of his mother, Laura. He had said recently he neared a decision on whether he would participate. The WBC overlaps with spring training, so participating players must miss part of camp to take part in the quadrennial tournament.
“For me, it’s all about what’s important to our team and what’s going to be the best for myself and to prepare to help us win,” Springer said on Dec. 22 when discussing his impending decision. “I know that this is a long year and I’ve got to be smart about it and go from there.”
The Astros will hold their first full-squad workout in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Feb. 18. The WBC begins March 6. The championship game at Dodger Stadium will be played March 22.
Carlos Correa (Puerto Rico), Jose Altuve (Venezuela) and Carlos Beltran (Puerto Rico) are among the Astros players already committed to playing in the WBC.