Tampa Bay Rays: Randy Arozarena announces interest in playing for Mexico in WBC

Randy Arozarena made a big impression following his late-season call up in St. Louis. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Randy Arozarena made a big impression following his late-season call up in St. Louis. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

One of the Tampa Bay Rays newest outfielders, Randy Arozarena, let it be known that he has interest in playing for the Mexican World Baseball Classic squad.

HIALEAH,FL-  Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena let his intentions be known to Pelota Cubana about playing in the 2021 World Baseball Classic,” I’m still waiting to finish the naturalization process in México, but there is a good possibility I might represent the national team in the WBC,” said Arozarena while being interviewed by Pelota Cubana.

The versatile Cuban has caught his manager’s eye with a sizzling start to the spring, “We were excited about him when we acquired him and we are even more excited now. He’s a super talented and athletic guy who does special things whether it be hitting, fielding or on the basepaths. We have a lot of outfielders in camp but I’m definitely pleased with his performance.”

The native of Pinar del Río, Cuba leads the team in runs batted in this spring with six and is hitting a robust .533. The speedy Arozarena also leads Tampa with three steals.

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Although it isn’t a sure thing, he’s definitely interested in being part of the team in the upcoming tournament and stated that he wants no part of the Cuban National Team.

In fact, Arozarena stated to Pelota Cubana that the only way he wants to play on the island is in the provincial series with his town of Mantua,” I have no desire to play with Pinar del Río or the Cuban National Team, I feel at home in México. If I was to ever play in Cuba again it would be with my town of Mantua in the provincial series.”

Arozarena has plenty of experience playing in México. He has played in the country’s winter league with the Navojoa Mayans and led the league in 2018 with 14 homers.

Before signing with St. Louis in 2016 he also played with the Tijuana Toros , when they were a part of the Northern México League, which is a minor league for the summer Mexican League.

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If México is able to add this five tool talent to their team not only will it be a coup for the tricolor, but it would also strengthen an already potent team.