NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sidney Ponson will pitch for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, the first Major League player to confirm his participation in the event, officials said Thursday.
The 32-year-old right-hander, a native of Aruba, was 8-5 with a 5.04 ERA last season with the New York Yankees.
Currently a free agent, Ponson spent most of his 11 years in the majors with the Baltimore Orioles, but also played for San Francisco, St. Louis, Minnesota and Texas.
Netherlands-born Bert Blyleven, who played 22 years in the big leagues, will be a pitching coach for the Netherlands, Major League Baseball said in a statement.
In the first round of the WBC, which will be played in March, the Netherlands will compete against the Dominican Republic, Panama and hosts Puerto Rico.
The semi-finals and final of the event will take place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on March 21-23.
Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Justin Palmer