Koskie, Bay among players named to Canada roster

TORONTO -- Jason Bay, Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie were among 23 players named to Canada's 30-man roster for the inaugural World Baseball Classic on Saturday.

The initial group was missing star closer Eric Gagne and starting pitcher Rich Harden, who are coming off injuries. Larry Walker, who retired after last season, confirmed he would not play for Canada but planned to be with the team in some coaching capacity.

Other notable players on the roster included starting pitchers Erik Bedard and Jeff Francis, relievers Rheal Cormier and Paul Quantrill, and first baseman-outfielder Matt Stairs.

Pitcher Ryan Dempster told team officials he will not participate because he does not want to put too much strain on his arm nearly three years after ligament replacement surgery on his elbow.

The 16-nation tournament is scheduled for March 3-20. Baseball Canada has until 24 hours before the event begins to complete its roster.