The first round of the World Baseball Classic begins on March 2 for a few clubs, meaning that it's time for the participants in this tournament to bid farewell to their MLB teams. For the Red Sox, that means Shane Victorino, who will represent Team USA, as well as Alfredo Aceves, who is now officially on the roster of Team Mexico.
Aceves was originally just on the provisional roster for Mexico, as John Farrell explained to MLB.com's Adam Berry. Said Farrell: "I don't know how they came to it, but the notice was sent out today that he has now been added." Kind of makes you wonder if Alfredo Aceves demanded a private conversation with the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, when the manager of the club wouldn't give him the role he desired.
He'll get to work as a starter, the role the Red Sox were stretching him out for. While Boston doesn't plan on using Aceves as a starter, they tend to stretch out the relievers they might have to use as depth for that role -- combined with Aceves' possible placement in Mexico's rotation, it was even more necessary to bring him through the early spring in this manner. The positive of all of this? Aceves' departure means more innings for other relievers fighting for a job in the Sox bullpen, and also means any dramatic Aceves' stories from the next few weeks won't be Red Sox ones.
As for Victorino, his job with the Red Sox as their right fielder is secure. His playing for Team USA does open up additional playing time for guys like Daniel Nava, Ryan Sweeney, and maybe even Mike Carp and Lyle Overbay, allowing that whole outfield/first base situation to sort itself out.
The other players from the Red Sox in this tournament are Xander Bogaerts and Jose De La Torre. Bogaerts already left for Taiwan last weekend, to join the Netherlands' roster, while De La Torre, who will pitch for Puerto Rico, is doing that rather than fight for a job in an already crowded Sox bullpen. To his credit, he had almost no chance of winning a spot, unless about half-a-dozen arms in front of him suddenly went down with injury.