Sonny Gray to skip World Baseball Classic

Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray will not represent the USA in the World Baseball Classic in March, general manger David Forst told reporters Sunday.

Due to injury issues that slowed Gray’s 2016 season, the 27-year-old was denied the necessary insurance coverage.

Major League Baseball pushed for an exception, according to ESPN, but because Gray was unable to pitch 10 innings after returning from his most recent stint on the disabled list (Aug. 8) the insurance company refused.

Forst told reporters Gray “feels great” while throwing in camp:

“I know Sonny’s bummed. He wanted to pitch and we were excited to let him do that.”

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin (Canada) was also denied insurance after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery after the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Also out of the WBC is Khris Davis (Mexico) and Liam Hendriks (Australia), each of whom had previously decided to pass on the event electing to remain with the A’s instead. John Axford (Canada) and Santiago Casilla (Dominican Republic) are still slated to represent the green and gold in the competition.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.