2017 Team USA MVP to Play for Puerto Rico in 2023 World Baseball Classic – Sports Illustrated

Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher Marcus Stroman will be taking his talents to Puerto Rico.

The MVP of the 2017 World Baseball Classic played an instrumental role in Team USA’s first World Baseball Classic championship at the last event.

The official Twitter account of the World Baseball Classic tweeted Thursday afternoon that Stroman plans to represent to Puerto Rico in the 2023 event.

Stroman tweeted in late July his plans to pitch for the Puerto Rican national team in 2023.

Stroman pitched a one-hit shutout through six innings in the 2017 World Baseball Classic title game, allowing one walk in Team USA’s 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. His performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award of the World Baseball Classic.

Now, Stroman will cross over and pitch for the other side.

Stroman is the third Major League Baseball player to commit to the Puerto Rican national team, following Minnesota Twins’ infielders Carlos Correa and José Miranda.

Puerto Rico’s 2017 team included Correa, Carlos Beltran, Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Edwin Diaz, Jose Berrios and Yadier Molina.

Stroman has not verbalized why he will representing a different country in 2023, but his mother is of Puerto Rican descent.

Stroman however said in 2017 that he received backlash from Puerto Ricans and his mother was harassed for his decision to pitch for Team USA.

Stroman has a 3.98 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 104 ERA+ over 101.2 innings and 19 starts in his first season with the Chicago Cubs in 2022. Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs last winter.