According to Puerto Rican baseball reporter Victor Ramos (@tavonsky), Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Melky Cabrera has decided to not play in the World Baseball Classic tournament (hat tip to @TradeDeadliner and @Alleycat17 for bringing this to my attention):
Segun me Informan, Melky Cabrera no irá vendra al #WBC. Mas Info luego!— tavonsky (@tavonsky) February 2, 2013
— Chris Cotillo (@TradeDeadliner) February 2, 2013
Cabrera, 28, signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent on November 19 to a two-year $16 million contract. He was chosen to play on the Dominican Republic team for the upcoming World Baseball Classic tournament along with Blue Jays teammates Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, and Esmil Rogers. However, he was recently named as one of the Major League players who had purchased performance-enhancing drugs from Tony Bosch's Biogenesis Clinic in the Miami area. In that Miami New Times piece, it was alleged that Cabrera was not only using testosterone (for which he was suspended 50 games last season), but also IGF-1.
It is unknown whether there is any connection between the breaking of that story to Melky Cabrera's decision to pull out of the World Baseball Classic., although it would be understandable if he wanted to escape from the media scrutiny that would have followed him through the tournament. I doubt that it has anything to do with possible impending sanctions by the league.
Of course, it should be noted that this is still a developing story and was only reported by a single journalist without any confirmation from a second source.
John Lott from the National Post, after texting with general manager Alex Anthopoulos, confirms that Melky Cabrera will not be participating in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and neither will teammate Esmil Rogers. Cabrera and Rogers "felt like they needed to be in camp with their new team," according to Anthopoulos.
The Blue Jays' official Twitter account confirmed the report Sunday morning.