NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gary Sanchez won’t be playing in the World Baseball Classic after all.
The Yankees’ rising superstar said Tuesday night that he has backed out of plans to represent his native Dominican Republic in the WBC next month, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti reported.
Sanchez spoke about the situation at the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner in New York City. The 24-year-old catcher said he initially told Dominican officials he would play for the team, but he decided in the last week that it was more important to work with the Yankees for all of spring training.
Sanchez said he will begin working out in Tampa on Thursday. Pitchers and catchers officially report Feb. 14.
Sanchez made a huge splash as a rookie last season and is the face of the Yankees’ youth movement. In 53 games in 2016, he batted .299 with 20 home runs and 42 RBIs.