Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney told the Dominican newspaper El Caribe that he plans to pitch for the Dominican Republic during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which will be held in March.
"I want to represent the country," Rodney told the newspaper. "It will be a pleasure to be there in the Dominican uniform."
Rodney, who set a club record with 48 saves in 2012 and set a major-league record for lowest ERA for a pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched at 0.60, said he did not seek permission from the Rays before accepting the invitation to pitch for his country.
"You don't have to ask permission to represent your country," Rodney told El Caribe.
The Rays stopped former pitcher Scott Kazmir from pitching for Team USA in the 2009 WBC, claiming the extra workload could prevent a health risk since Kazmir missed the start of the 2008 season because of an elbow injury suffered during spring training.
Third baseman Evan Longoria, who played for Team USA in 2009, will not play this year because he is still recovering from minor hamstring surgery.
David Price, who won the AL Cy Young Award after winning 20 games and leading the league in ERA last season, said the Rays will not allow him to pitch in the WBC.
Former Ray J.P. Howell pitched in the 2009 WBC and missed the entire 2010 after undergoing left shoulder surgery to repair damage to his rotator cuff sustained the previous season.