SARASOTA, Fla. – For weeks it was assumed that Luis Ayala would play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Now, he’s not so sure.
“I haven’t made a decision. I’ll make a decision tomorrow,” Ayala said.
The 35-year-old right-hander pitched in the Caribbean Series, and the Orioles would prefer that he not pitch in the WBC.
“They’ve said it’s my decision. They haven’t said nothing,” Ayala said. “I’m looking [out] for my future. I talked to the guy from the Mexican team yesterday. I make the decision tonight,” Ayala said.
Ayala hasn’t thrown in the first two days of camp. The Orioles would like him to take it easier, especially since he’s in good shape.
“I just pitched all of December and January and I feel good,” Ayala said.
In 2012, Ayala was 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 66 games, and the team was happy to pick up his $1 million option for 2013.
Manager Buck Showalter would obviously prefer Ayala stay around the team, but says he’s not influencing.
“We present the facts, tell them what’s important, and away they go,” Showalter said.
Jim Johnson and Matt Wieters weren’t interested in playing for the U.S., but Adam Jones is.
“It wasn’t that they weren’t patriotic. It was a great honor, but physically where they are, they didn’t think it was in their best interest from a physical standpoint,” Showalter said.