Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez has accepted an invitation to pitch for the United States in March’s World Baseball Classic, USA Baseball announced via Twitter on Saturday.
The 27-year-old, a Hialeah, Fla., native of Cuban descent, will boost a rotation that also features the Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey, the Braves’ Kris Medlen and the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong.
Gonzalez enjoyed a breakout season after being traded to Washington a year ago, winning a league-high 21 games and posting a 2.89 ERA. He was among the players linked by the Miami New Times to the South Florida clinic that reportedly supplied players with performance-enhancing drugs, which MLB is currently investigating.
The addition of Gonzalez adds star power to a team and a tournament currently lacking it, just one day after Mariners superstar Felix Hernandez withdrew from Team Venezuela.