San Diego Padres Talented Reliever Drops Out Of World Baseball Classic

A tough loss for Team Venezuela.

San Diego Padres reliever Robert Suarez has withdrawn from competing for Venezuela in this year's World Baseball Classic.

The reason isn't reportedly injury-related, with Suarez saying he wants "to be around the team and get my training in and get ready for the start of the season."

The Padres signed Suarez to a big five-year, $46 million contract this offseason, which is quite notable as he has just one major league season under his belt.

The 32-year-old was dominant in a high-leverage role for the Padres last season in his rookie year, compiling a sparkling 2.27 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, with 61 strikeouts over 47.2 innings of work. He made 45 relief appearances, finished six games and converted one save.

Suarez figures to open the 2023 season in a setup role behind closer Josh Hader, but he could eventually take over the closer job if Hader decides to leave in free agency next year. 

Suarez also carries an opt-out after the third year of his contract.
Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports