LOS ANGELES – Freddie Freeman is ready to wear the Maple Leaf once again.
The all-star Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman said he’s interested and has already had conversations about suiting up for Canada at next year’s World Baseball Classic, the way he did at the last tournament in 2017.
“If they ask me, I’m 100 per cent in,” he said Monday. “I talked to Tyler O’Neill in St. Louis and Stubby Clapp is their first-base coach, I want to play for Team Canada. I already asked Andrew Frideman (the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations) if the Dodgers are OK with guys playing in the WBC and he said yes, so if they ask, I’m in.”
Freeman will clearly be asked, giving the Canadian lineup a major boost.
Born in Villa Park, Calif., he’s eligible to represent Canada because both his parents are Canadian. His dad Fred is from Windsor, Ont., while his late mother Rosemary is from Toronto.
“I get to represent the country that my dad and mom grew up and were raised in and obviously, my mom not being here, I just like to honour her,” said Freeman. “That's the big reason I like to do that.”
Freeman signed an $162-million, six-year deal with the Dodgers as a free agent this winter. He was often tied to the Blue Jays in the rumour mill but they weren’t among his final choices.
“I did a couple of meetings with them, they were very interested,” said Freeman. “But once the lockout hit and after the lockout lifted, we kind of went a whole different way.”