April 11, 2021

Cancellation of World Baseball Classic in 2021 imminent (ESPN)

Sources have told ESPN that the cancellation of the World Baseball Classic is imminent, with one source saying “it is not a priority right now.”

The tournament had been set for March 9-23, 2021 in the United States, Japan and Taiwan. Because the event was included in the current collective bargaining agreement, which runs through December of 2021, the tournament would have to be renegotiated to feature MLB participation, sources said.

WBC organizers told ESPN they don’t see the event being played again until 2023.

This past February, after reaching an agreement with MLB and the MLBPA, WBC organizers had set play for Taiwan, Tokyo, Phoenix and Miami, with the Marlins hosting the semifinals and final along with half of the quarterfinals.

The event had been scheduled to have groups of five teams: the 16 participants in the 2017 tournament plus four qualifiers to be determined during a 12-nation tournament this March 13-25 in Tucson, Arizona. That March date was also cancelled.

Read “Cancellation of World Baseball Classic in 2021 imminent” at ESPN