To be fair, the Athletics weren’t really too concerned with sending Pedro Figueroa, their left-handed reliever from Dominican Republic to the WBC in the first place. With additions to their bullpen such as Chris Resop earlier in the off-season, and recently Fernando Rodriguez and Jed Lowrie, Figueroa has increasingly become comfortable sitting on the fringes.
The organization is breathing easy for a contributing reason, however, aware that they now possess no players competing in the international tournament, which, for a manager of a baseball club, is reassuring.
When handling living-breathing assets worth millions of dollars on a daily basis, the concern for injury concern is necessary. And though there are few greater honors in sports than playing for one’s national team, the WBC (realistically) is not all that important yet.
If you need proof, look to the players that withdrew from the competition. If the WBC was glorifying, this article never would’ve been written about “Pedro Figueroa,” as even a fringe pitcher of the Oakland A’s felt the tournament worth turning down.